It was hot this past Friday (25 March 2022) afternoon but the excitement around the launch of the Klapmuts Development Forum (KDF) was even hotter. Conceived in 2019, the forum has gone through considerable growing pains and has finally been formalised this year.
It was held at the Klapmuts Multi-Purpose Centre. Besides offering government services, it features an e- centre, allowing residents to have access to the Internet. It is very popular for the creation of CV’s and applying for jobs.
Elliot Bikwana (affectionately known as Juju), Chairman of the KDF delivered the main address. He stated that the KDF was formed after an assessment was done with the community, who felt that they were being left out of the drive to develop the town. The KDF has 5 focal areas:
Construction – The KDF’s role will be to liaise with contractors to assist with the placement of skilled and unskilled labour by using the Jobs database managed by the Stellenbosch municipality.
Social Development – Tackling crime and poverty head-on, The KDF will be conducting a toiletries drive on Tuesday (29 March 2022) as well as hosting a talent show in conjunction with SAPS on the same day. Further work with Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Action Committee structures is planned.
Sport – Diverting youth away from delinquency, the KDF hopes to uncover and cultivate the stars of the future.
Safety – Working with the Community Policing Forum (CPF), Neighbourhood Watches, the KDF wants to highlight what is being done to enhance security in the region.
Business – Stellenbosch has a 11% (narrow definition) unemployment rate according to the Municipality report of 2020. The KDF has formed a Local Business Committee to work with the over 30 local enterprises on record, to increase employment for the town.
For Secretary of the KDF, Donawan Davids, the biggest concern is unemployment. He felt that several construction developments in the past did not use local labour. He said: “The people of Klapmuts are hungry”. The rest of the Board is made of Jeremy Maluqua (Treasurer), Michelle Maluqua (Deputy Chair) and Juanita Engelbrecht is the Deputy Secretary.
Brief speeches were made by Stellenbosch councillors JC Anthony and Rozette Du Toit. Mr. Anthony is a stalwart of the community and feels very positive about the expected impact of the KDF. Ms Du Toit started her speech with a beautiful quote from Winnie Byanyima, “What is growth if not for ordinary people to thrive.” She reaffirmed the commitment of the Municipality and the Local Enterprise Development (LED) department to work with all stakeholders in improving the lives of the people of Klapmuts.
Present at the launch was representatives of the local CPF, Neighbourhood Watch, Action Committee and ECD structures.
The event was sponsored by several organisations with a great interest in the development of the precinct. In attendance was:
- Klaus and Mary Göbel of Stellenbosch Bridge. This innovative development is hailed as Africa’s first truly smart city and should have a huge impact on the unemployment rate in the region.
- Always willing to lend a helping hand is Johan and Sonya Olivier at Ranyaka Community Transformation. The essence of Johan’s address was “Working for the young ones.”
- Besides the ladies “dressing to the nines”, further glamour came in the form of Franschoek’s newest boutique winery owner, Paul Siguqa of Klein Goederust, who attended with his wife Makhosazana. Paul grew up in Klapmuts and is keen to work closely with this community.
The audience was treated to the angelic voices of locals Courtney Du Preez and Berenice Snyman and prayers were delivered by Pastor Willie Cloete.
To make use of Stellenbosch Labour Database, register at https://jobs.stellenbosch.gov.za/.
This writer enjoyed the warm hospitality of the people of Klapmuts way after the official event was over!