Rural Sustainable Villages Impact Report 2021



Nompumelelo Senior Secondary School- Indigenous tree planting


1. Organisational details....................4 2. Project background.......................5 3. Executive summary........................6 4. Role players...................................7 5. Cost and timing..........................8 6. Situating the project.....................9 7. Project structure..........................10 8. Statistical impact..........................11 9. Project highlights.........................13 10. Project beneficiaries....................15 11. Challenges...................................16 12. Lessons learnt..............................16 13. Stakeholders involved.................17 14. Project team profile......................18 15. Funder acknowledgement...........20 16. Contact us...................................20

The project has impacted positively on the schools and has ignited a sense sustainability awareness amongst the learners.


Name of Organisation WESSA

Author of report Mawande Mbola

Position in the Organisation Project Manager: WESSA Schools and Youth Unit Contact details 073 471 5657

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 4


The CHDM Sustainable Villages Programme (housed within the Municipal Health Services Directorate of the Chris Hani District Municipality) has been conducting a pilot programme (from 2009 to 2014) that has had, at its core, the implementation and support of a variety of sustainable technologies that were directed at assisting government to meet need for basic service, food security and environmental health within South Africa’s rural landscape . Two villages formed a part of this programme and valuable lessons were learned from this pilot. This new implementing phase will consist of 5 schools in 5 separate villages, however, the two schools in the pilot phase will continue to be supported as their experience and sustainability will form a valuable contribution to the overall programme.

This new project has demonstrated sustainable resource management at schools by using a biogas sanitation system which links to the school toilet system and then ultimately feeds the school’s agro-ecological food garden production. This is linked to a number of positive social, financial and local economic impacts.

Biogas stove

Nyanga High School biogas system

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 5


The three main project components of the Rural Sustainable Villages Project are:

Although there is a growing acceptance of a broad array of skills and assets contained in rural communities through-out South Africa, these communities are also faced with a variety of hardships; • access to timeous and contextually appropriate services, • the lack of access to education and training, • low levels of employment, and • access to employment opportunities are amongst these. Sustainable technologies and practices should be seen as part of the solution yet, it has become increasingly evident that the three biggest stumbling blocks to the adoption and implementation of sustainable practices and technologies into the community homesteads is capacity, access and income/affordability. This project aims to address these challenges with the proposed Rural Sustainable Villages Project through three main project components.

Capacity development and training

Provision and support of a range of sustainable technologies and practices

SME training- Introduction to Entrepreneurship

The initiation and support of local economic activity.

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 6

Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School- waste management system

YRE training on photography


Theaccountableagency: Department of EconomicDevelopment, Environment Affairs and Tourism , who will assign project control and administration to the Eastern Cape Development Corporation’s (ECDC’s) Project Development Agency .


A project steering committee will be established with the following key members :

• Eastern Cape Education Department; • Environmental Health Representatives from the relevant District Municipalities; • Eastern Cape Public Works Department.

During the pilot phase an impressive body of interested and affected people offered their support, most notably the MEC of the Province and other Parliamentarians

PSC membership will be extended to the following organisations:

• Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development’s Renewable Energy Division; • Dept. of Human Settlements; • Relevant District Water Service Authorities; • National Department of Education (responsible for the National Schools Nutrition Programme); • Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs; • Department of Health; and the • Provincial Dept. of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform. During the pilot phase an impressive body of interested and affected people offered their support, most notably the MEC of the Province and other Parliamentarians. The District, themselves, continued to support the pilot project through various means – annual conferences, hosting dignitaries from all over the world, and entering the project in the All Africa Public Service Awards, of which the project won in 2 separate years, and in two categories (Best Partnership Project, and Best Project overall). The CHDM has continued to develop an impressive list of role-players. A full list is attached in APPENDIX Section.

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 7


Cost and Timing Implications

The budget is R10 395 823 (incl. Vat) for a two-year period.

The implementing agent for the project is WESSA, who were also the implementing partner in the initial pilot phase.

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 8

Project signboard- Mount Arthur Girls High school


The project is implemented within the Chris Hani District Municipality in the Eastern Cape . The schools come from 5 of the 6 local municipalities under the jurisdiction of district which are:

• Enoch Mgijima local Municipality • Emalahleni Local Municipality • Intsikayethu Local Municipality • Engcobo Local Municipality • Sakhisizwe Local Municipality

There are 11 schools benefiting from the project.

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 9


The project was conceptualised with the theme of Water, Energy and Food nexus (WEF).

training 1.

Capacity development and

The project has three main components that are followed for the implementation

Provision and support of a range of sustainable technologies and practices



The initiation and support of local economic activity.

Nyanga High School Food garden

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 10


The impact of this project spans far and beyond the school premises with different impact areas such as temporary employment, training, and education.

Formal training

Basics to Entrepreneurship


Formal training

Business Plan Development




Photography Training




Eco-schools’ Workshop


Technical training


Biogas Training

Environmental calendar event


World Environment Day

Awareness: Waste Management Awareness

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 11

Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School- regional competition award

Three Crowns Primary school- Waste Management system

YRE workshop

Biogas workshop

IBASS- Waste water treatment plant

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 12


The project has completed all planned project deliverables. Based on the changing dynamics and challenges facing schools in the rural communities, the project has adapted and went over the expected delivery to bring about a holistic functioning of the sustainable technologies . The following are the highlights in the project - all these highlights are activities that were not initially in the budget plans.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

2 Borehole systems have been installed in 2 schools.

Youth SMEs have been assisted with start-up materials and equipment to initiate their businesses.

Eleventh school was added to the programme.

Impact video showcasing project implementation has been produced.

Repairs on one extra IBASS system at Mbewula Primary school.

Mbewula PS repaired IBASS system

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 13

Food garden at Three Crowns Primary School

Food garden at Three Crowns Primary School

Mount Arthur Girls High learners planting

Three Crowns Primary School- garden design project

Maria Louw High School shaded garden

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 14


Direct beneficiaries 5 752 learners from 11 schools

Indirect beneficiaries 44 temporary workers

35 Project Steering Committee members

202 Teachers

15 EPWP workers

7 Youth SMEs

Nyanga High school orchard planting

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 15


There are multiple dynamics with all the different schools that affect the implementation of the project such as;

1. 2. 3. 4.

Schools are significantly under-resourced, from the teaching staff to physical resources Schools are far apart with terrible terrains to drive in Schools were inactive in the implementation of environmental projects COVID-19 pandemic has caused major delays in the implementation of the project


Networking helps with holistic school improvement, different stakeholders offer different benefits to the schools

All schools are different and require different approaches

Rural schools lack practical learning infrastructure

Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School-clean up

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 16


Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

Department of Basic Education

Chris Hani District Municipality


Finishes of Nature

Agama Biogas (pty) Ltd

Project sign board- Three Crowns Primary School

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 17


Mawande Mbola

WESSA: Project Manager in Schools Unit Responsible for the overall project implementation as well as reporting.

Cindy-Lee Cloete

WESSA: General Manager Schools and Youth Unit Responsible for leading the WESSA project team and giving strategic direction for the project.

Pravin Vishnupersadh

WESSA: Accountant Responsible for all project procurement processes as well as financial report.

Rural Sustainable Villages Project awards ceremony

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 18


Qaphela Mpotulo

CHDM: Manager Environmental Management Unit Responsible for project executive decision making as well liaising with the funders.

Saluse Kwezi

CHDM: Environmental Control Officer Assisting the project manager with the coordination of the project.

Rural Sustainable Villages Project 19


WESSA would like to extend a sincere gratitude to the Chris Hani District Municipality for affording us the opportunity to implement an impactful, project in the rural areas of the district. It has been a great pleasure and experience to work with the municipality in facilitating this highly technical project. The project has impacted positively on the schools and has ignited a sense sustainability awareness amongst the learners.


Cindy-Lee Cloete General Manager: WESSA Schools and Youth Unit

Tel 011 462 5663 Cell 064 752 0598 Email

Mawande Mbola Project Manager: WESSA Schools and Youth Unit Cell 073 471 5657 Email

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