Platfontein (translated as flat fountain) is a location that represents the San community. This grouping of people became a point of focus at the Bloemfontein conference in 2014 with the theme of “Freedom Our Responsibility” (see www.zafor.ch). It was clear that the current so-called Bushmen are “God’s forgotten people” exploited throughout the years. There is no recognition that these are the remnant of the world’s forefathers and should be protected and supported.
The outcome of the Bloemfontein conference was to recognize these people and design a plan that is sustainable and integrated into South African society.
The Platfontein Project was one of the key resolutions and outcomes of the conference and successfully went into a 1st phase action. The plan, funded by a small Swiss network known as the 2 Hour Run group, gave the plan a significant kick-start. Fourteen candidates selected from the Platfontein community, were invited to participate in the growth and skills-creation project.
The two communities (iXun and Kwe) of Platfontein are located 8 kilometers outside of Kimberley in the northern part of the country. They endorsed the process and committed themselves toward the initial process of selecting and training Platfontein youth leadership in an intensive 6 month programme at Hilltop Empowerment Centre 800 kilometers away in the Eastern Cape.
The training included:
- Computer skills, certified software and technical
- Agricultural skills
- Business skills including basic management and accounting
- Basic life skills – communication, domestic science, personal management
- English language skills, spoken and written
The follow-up to this training included the immediate installation of a computer centre in Platfontein. The infra-structure and renovations were completed with funds donated by the 2 Hour Run group and private Swiss donors.
November 2015 saw two exciting events: the opening of the computer centre and a wonderful graduation ceremony.
A business plan has been completed and submitted to the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) for approval and funding of a long term sustainable development plan.