REALISING ENABLED AND EMPOWERED AFRICAN LIVELIHOODS
After 56 years, 10,000 hectares were returned to the Makhoba people and their dairy farming recommenced. In 1946, they were forcibly removed from their ancestral land. Today, they are the largest black-owned dairy supplier to Nestlé ESAR.
In 2002, after a successful land claim, their 10,000 hectares of land were returned to the Makhoba people by President Thabo Mbeki and the 7,000-strong community resettled on their land.
Through the assistance of organisations and the local farming community, the Makhoba tribe established a sizeable and successful dairy. Today, Springfontein Dairy is the largest black-owned dairy supplier to Nestlé ESAR, supplying approximately 4.5million litres of milk per year. However, regardless of the success of the dairy, the farm is located in the remote area of Swartberg in KwaZulu-Natal, where the lack of education and work opportunities poses a huge challenge to the community.
Inyosi Empowerment, as Nestlé ESAR enterprise and supplier development partner, believes the solution lies in partnership between the community and the private sector. In 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the YES (Youth Employment Service) initiative with the aim to place unemployed youth in paid internships within South African companies. Nestlé jumped at the opportunity, and through their partnership with Inyosi Empowerment, almost 300 young people from the Makhoba community have completed the programme. In the YES programme, 300 youth have been trained to date, 50% of whom are women. Now in its fourth year, there are a further 100 youth in the programme. 35 graduates are permanently employed as a direct result of the YES programme on the Makhoba Farms. The balance of the 300 graduates have found jobs in the Swartberg community due to their enhanced skills and training. A select number of students are being mentored and coached under the tutelage of the current general manager of the dairy, as part of the dairy’s succession planning.
SAINC took a trip to Swartberg to document the inspiring story of how the partnership has grown to becoming an exemplary sustainable community development model. The initiative, called Makhoba Project, is a pilot project that brings to life Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value (CSV) approach, by working within communities to realise enabled and empowered African livelihoods. This model integrates youth skills development, employment, and employability, agripreneurship, regenerative agriculture, sustainability, and local sourcing.
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