Launch of Agri-Ecohubs in King Cetshwayo District

WESSA, in partnership with South32 Hillside Aluminium Smelter in Richard’s Bay launched a youth development project in the King Cetshwayo District (KCD) Municipality on the 21 st of January 2022. This project was conceptualised in response to the high youth unemployment rate in the district coupled with the food insecurity challenges.

The project will employ 20 youth across the KCD municipality to establish, manage and grow four (4) nature-positive agri-businesses which will ultimately improve the local economy of their communities. South32 will finance the project for two years which enables WESSA to give the youth the tools and platforms to establish themselves in the local, regional and national agriculture sector.

Starting the project, these 20-youth realised that they can become ambassadors for a movement of generations of potential farmers and businesses that can drive the economy and betterment of their communities.

Throughout the 2 years of the project they will sharpen their existing skills and competencies to set- up and successfully manage their agri-businesses, business training and paired with businesses currently in the sector to mentor them.

This project shows the commitment of South32 to the communities they operate in, and WESSA, as an enabler for capacity development and sustainable livelihoods. One youth member starting this project expressed that ‘the main reason we have this kind of learnership is to eradicate unemployment and poverty! We are committed to the success of this learnership, and for our work to continue for generations to come. We want to be history makers; when people talk about Eco- Hubs in our local communities, we want our names to be engraved so that everybody will know that this started with us in our community.”

This strategic partnership is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.