Working in the Townships
A Peace Centre office “The Hub” was opened in April 2019 in the Centre of Khayelitsha. This is the largest of Cape Town’s informal settlements with a population of over half a million. The people are almost wholly Xhosa speaking, from the Eastern Cape province.
It was staffed by locally recruited people. It operated as a centre for training and information (ask me anything) providing guidance through the bureaucracy and finding sources of help. A quick survey was taken of the local community which confirmed that finding work was the greatest need.
A local company Stellitech enabled the Hub to offer basic level IT training so that users of the five computers could get an e-mail address, write a CV (both essential for job hunting) and search the web.
More advanced IT stills were taught (to certification standard) by our associate NPO Hilltop Empowerment Centre.
Needs and numbers of Hub visitors were of local NGOs, businesses and government contacts carefully logged on a database and the team built up a further database.
Although the Hub was fulfilling a real need it was not possible to find sufficient sponsorship. In March 2020 the SA government introduced the Covid virus lockdown and the Hub had to be closed.
Looking ahead – it is planned to reopen the Hub at the nearby Umfuleni township where the Peace Centre has been offered a free site.