The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted once again the desperate need to address food security issues in rural communities and the Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire (Pty) Ltd, (Bakwena) initiated various community projects along the N4 route in the Brits area that have made a considerable difference to community members’ lives.
One such project is the Eat What You Grow (EWYG) initiative, situated along the Bakwena route, which was successfully rolled out in 2020 in partnership with Zutari, CapaSity and Sakata Seed Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd and MayFord Seeds.
EWYG teaches people to grow their own vegetable gardens and in so doing create a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families. “No one in my family goes to bed hungry anymore,” says Buang Molefe from Majakaneng close to Brits, one of the project participants who boasts a garden full of pumpkin, spinach, peanuts, beans, cabbage and tomatoes. “I now know how to plant my own vegetables and provide food for my family without spending money,” says Nomangesi Sobahle of Mooinooi, a project participant that constructed her own gutter system to harvest rainwater for her garden during the rainy season.
“It is encouraging to note that through these partnerships, training and support, we have been able to make a difference and help communities during these difficult times” says Solomon Kganyago, Chief Operating Officer, Bakwena.
Individuals have taken ownership of their own lives and started to grow their gardens. The participants devised many innovative ideas to keep their crops safe. Participants used logs, wire, car parts and old building material to fence off their gardens and keep livestock from eating their vegetables. A few individuals went a step further and decided to sell the produce to local community members and in so doing, created an additional income stream for their families.
Bakwena said it is confident that these community member’s enthusiasm and positivity towards this project will go a long way in assisting their communities to successfully uplift and transform the lives of people living along the N1N4 route.
“Bakwena remains committed to a programme of corporate social investment which supports and contributes to the development of communities along the Bakwena N1N4 Corridor. We do our best to generate maximum benefits for communities and our projects are managed accordingly, so we can make a difference every kilometre of the way” says Kganyago.