Never have there been greater challenges and yet also the greatest opportunities than right now – in our lifetime.
They say Africa is not for sissies, well this year as we celebrated Africa Day on 25 May, we realised that all across the diaspora Africans were beginning to do things for themselves. Here in South Africa we got the awesome news about the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. This is wonderful news not only for our country, but also for Africa.
Our continent and country is also known for its natural wonders. One of the “must-visit” regions in South Africa is the pristine Wild Coast of the former Transkei, now Eastern Cape.
Wild Coast Communities
Awesome SA supports an organisation called Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC). SWC works with the communities living along Pondoland’s Wild Coast, in the northern coastal regions of the former Transkei of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province to find sustainable solutions. SWC and the Pondoland people are working towards local livelihood prospects, while respecting the cultural traditions of these communities, maintaining the wealth of natural biodiversity and the unique ‘sense of place’ for which the Wild Coast is renown.
One of SWC’s focus area’s involves promoting public awareness about issues and concerns affecting the Wild Coast and its residents, through articles and news reports and by assisting and encouraging journalists, writers and film-makers to provide in-depth and well-informed coverage of topics concerning the area.
N2 ‘Wild Coast’ Tolled Highway
Two recent developments causing much concern for local people are on-going proposals to open cast mining in the area, and the proposed routing of a tolled highway, a new extension to the existing N2 national road, through the region. SWC’s dedicated Too Great a Toll fund is helping Wild Coast communities with resources to legally challenge the government’s approval of the N2 ‘Wild Coast’ tolled highway. The Wild Coast communities are legally challenging the lack of proper consultation and other serious legal deficiencies in the N2 proposals Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Richard Branson in his book – Screw Business As Usual – says “We’ve a chance to take a shot at really working together to turn upside down the way we approach the challenges we are facing in the world and to look at them in a brand new, entrepreneurial way. Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and higher purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for business.”
In Screw Business as Usual, Branson calls on people to turn capitalism upside down – to shift our values, to switch from a profit focus to caring for people, communities and the planet. He inspires both businesses and individuals to embark on a whole new way of doing things, solving major problems and turning our work into something we are both proud of and love .
Sustaining the Wild Coast
Imagine if those driving the open cast mining and the building of a tolled highway – through one of the most pristine and unique wild areas of South Africa – would alternatively put their money into the following areas. Support the people who live on the Wild Coast in maintaining their cultural and ecological heritage, as Sustaining the Wild Coast is doing, with the following projects:
- Skills development, mentorship, leadership and entrepreneurial development programmes.
- Skilling local residents and schools in permaculture cultivation methods, knowledge of indigenous plants, establishing indigenous plant nurseries and food gardens, and addressing and reversing environmental degradation.
- Promoting eco-tourism development initiatives along the Wild Coast which includes training hiking guides, establishing guided hikes, helping local people set up community based ‘homestays’ and networking with other eco-tourism development organisations to promote responsible eco-tourism.
- Assisting Wild Coast communities with advocacy, legal representation and specialist advice to enable them to ‘’own their future’.
Awesome SA is calling on South Africans who value and are proud of our country, to support the rural communities living on the Pondoland Wild Coast. We are calling for support from all areas of the globe and ask that you add your voices to the call of the marginalised voices of the Pondoland people.
Sustaining the Wild Coast needs support, because you know what…the future is not a place that we are going to go; it’s a place that we are going to create.
More details can be found on the SWC website www.swc.org.za.
Donations can be made to:
Name of account holder: Sustaining the Wild Coast (Sec 21).
Banking institution: First National Bank (FNB) Ltd, South Africa, (Randburg Branch)
Account number: 62157997639
Branch Code: 254005
Physical Address of Branch. Cnr Main Ave and Republic Road, Randburg, 2194
Postal Address: P O Box 557 Randburg 2125. Republic of South Africa.
Tel number: 00 27 11 449 6000
SWIFT Number: FIRNZAJJ
Please use Too Great a Toll as your reference regarding donations