Platfontein San Community Development Programme

REPORT – January 2020               


  1. Executive Summary
  1.    The achievements to date in terms of KEM funds
    1.    Other achievements in support of the total business plan for the whole Platfontein San Community
  1.    Analysis
  • The Report Summary
  •    The Market Garden
    •    The Pottery
    •    The Computer Centre
    •    The Guest House Complex
  • Impact of the programme
  • Analysis


  1. Executive summary

The original proposal contained several key elements which came to a total request of the fund of Sfr 93 000 of which Sfr 15 000 was actually approved.

This resulted in Hilltop having to allocate its funds toward a limited objective within its means together with those of other funds separately raised as part of the total business plan. The total business plan included inter alia:-

The market garden

The pottery

The guest house and conference centre complex

The training of local key San Community (Bushmen) for the various functions and roles

The computer centre and related skills including children

General economic development of the region

  1. The achievements to date in terms of KEM funds

Allocation of KEM funds

The market garden infra structure (Sfr 15 000 – R209 465.06)

This was all that could be allocated

Support of this project included the training done by Hilltop in market garden skills.

Further funding required – water development for long term development of this concept

  1. Other achievements in support of the total business plan for the whole San community
  2. The operation of the computer centre
  3. The completion of the guest house and conference centre  through application support by local government commitment

(See pictures below)

  1. Analysis

The programme has been amazingly successful in what has been achieved to date. The involvement of the Swiss Ambassador has helped to set the scene for government acknowledgement of the San Community which that had to date completely neglected.

The further Swiss support from KEM and other organisations further entrenched this development as an example of co-operation.

The challenges remain high as a great deal for support is still required if this programme is to be sustainable as the required commitment needs to be at least 5 years as the San Community are the most backward community in the world – they are still steeped in their hunting and very traditional habits which can only be transformed through their youth and considerable training.

Without ongoing support, training and management support all the good that has been done can easily be wasted hence the need for a further commitment and also why we are submitting a further request.

Some of the vital aspects of the programme could not be achieved, like the pottery which is vital for tourism and use of the women in the village.

  • The Report Summary
  • The Market Garden

The plan of this part of the programme is to supply the guest house and the city community as part of jobs and skills promotion with a focus on the youth and some of the older people.

The plan was to set up the complete infra-structure which included, tunnels and open agriculture with water reticulation using an irrigation system with training in management and skills development in terms of processing of produce – packaging etc.

Achievement to date has been the setting up of the project fencing area with irrigation system in place.

Implementation of a tunnel system

Training – Hilltop did prior training in anticipation – this was or a selected number of candidates.

The real training however will only be possible through the planned next phase of the market garden which is all the hands-on techniques of a fully operational market garden that includes processing, ongoing planning – all this requires at least 2 years of operation under full guidance of a skilled manager / trainer.

Art of this has been done – the infra-structure but with limited market garden training and operation which will form part of the next phase.

  • The Pottery

There were no funds for this project so it could not be fulfilled but remains an important feature as it can involve the women as this is one project where the women can use their traditional skills with a direct relationship to a lucrative national nursery market (high demand for pots that are traditional artwork.

Our hope is for further support to complete this part of the programme.

  • The Computer Centre

Hilltop successful ongoing of the computer centre in training the youth and children including teaching English so they can integrate into the modern world – currently only speak their own languages which makes it difficult in attending the local school where teachers struggle.

  • The Guest House Complex

This has now been successfully completed and will form part of the ongoing support to all of the planned projects of market garden and pottery so that the programme becomes economically viable and sustainable.

A serious issue of drought and scarcity of water has limited this project and thus requires further input of borehole to increase water supply as the current supply is not sufficient to run the guest house and the market garden. This will also apply to the pottery which requires a great deal of water.

ZEL 1 015.jpg
ZEL 1 016.jpg
  • Impact of the programme

The impact of the programme can only be truly measured once all key elements of the business plan are in full operation with each component playing its part.

The market garden impact has been limited to 14 persons receiving training and being introduced to the concept and the practical aspects of setting up the infra-structure – the real impact will only come once the market garden is in full operation

There has also been a great deal of impact within the local, political community and business communities to be off support once things are fully established.  The greatest impact has been that of increased recognition of the neglected San Community

There is a serious water issue which has to be dealt with

The computer centre has a great deal of impact and trains close to 70 children and 40 adults annually.

  • Analysis

The overall programme has had a great deal of success with the participation of government and Swiss organisational support creating a focus of attention which has been missing for years.

In the next months there will now even be declared a San Community house of traditional leadership recognized within the national government.

One of the trainees of the project (Nepa – Ixun community) has been selected to be the administrator of this house – this will ensure long term sustainability.

Clearly the programme has still a long road ahead but the foundations have now been laid.