Case Study 4: Eastern Cape, South Africa

South Africa has also seen a relatively large number of initiatives around the green economy and climate change mitigation. Our fourth case study will examine the development of inclusive sustainable development (referred to as rural green skills projects) in the Eastern Cape that bring together subsistence farmers, women, CBOs, farmers’ associations, NGOs, Local Economic Development Organisations and public VET and HE institutions around smallholder farming, water harvesting, sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy, natural resources management and micro/small enterprise development in areas where few jobs or livelihoods for youth or smallholder farmers (mainly women) are available (Lotz-Sisitka et al. 2017). The interest here is in exploring how public post-school institutions are working in multi-stakeholder partnerships to re-orientate curricula, research and programmes towards rural development concerns and emergent inclusive sustainable development opportunities offered by local economic development and provincial strategies for addressing the above issues.

 Eastern Cape, South Africa: January case 2020 update

In light of institutional constraints, histories of exclusion and high inequality, there is a need for inclusive approaches which leverage resources within formal learning institutions without expecting these institutions to be the primary providers of VET in rural areas. In order to effectively support vocational learning across the large informal sector and include the 90% of African youth who do not make it any form of post-school training, VET 4.0 will need to distribute the VET function across a much wider network of stakeholders at various scales.

Road leading into the Keiskammahoek Catchment that feeds Alice

A series of Net-Map interviews have been conducted with a cross-section of stakeholders within the Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network – part of the Amanzi For Food programme. A number of emerging insights based on this momentary snap-shop of a single, ever-changing, web of relationships. These suggest that through improving the flow of existing knowledge and the exchange of new experiences across regions and scales, course-activated learning networks can help bring new content into college curriculums, deepen relationships between farmers and extension services, and build local networks of concern and collaboration. This enhances the ability of local actors to transgress normative patterns of association in order to collaborate and learn with one another in new ways. In addition, the continuation of the drought which has crippled farming efforts in the area has high-lighted more than ever, the need to strengthen climate resilience among small-holder farmers in the region.

The small research group has mourned the loss of Dr ‘Pesanyani who was central to the Amanzi For Food programme for many years. His knowledge and quiet leadership will be missed by all within the Amanzi For Food community.