The Mvula Trust pays more beneficiaries directly, employs more community contractors, trains more people in villages around South Africa and creates more jobs than any other non-profit organization in South Africa. Its success lies in its Community-Based Approach to Infrastructure Creation and Project Management.
Lekwalakwala Primary is located in the Capricorn District under the jurisdiction of Aganang Local Municipality. The village is approximately 50km west of the capital city of Limpopo, Polokwane.
This is a very remote rural area whereby transport to go to the city is only available in the morning and in the afternoon, transporting only few people who are lucky enough to find employment. Since most of the people are not working, few have access to television.
There is water reticulation in the village but the community does not get water every day and they have to travel up to 500m to the nearest tap to fetch water if it happens that the water is available, which sometimes is impossible for elderly to travel that distance. Sanitation facilities are still a challenge for most households.
During the 2012 financial year, the Limpopo Department of Education allocated funding towards sanitation services at schools and Lekwalakwala Primary was among the beneficiary schools.
During phase 1 of the project, The Mvula Trust creates project awareness by contacting the school and informing them about the project. The local councillor with the municipality and the Limpopo Department of Education Circuit Manager are also provided with an explanation of the project and the specifications of the project. All relevant stakeholders sign the site handover certificate once project awareness has been established.
During phase 2, a Project Steering Committee is set up in consultation with all stakeholders, including the school governing body. Community contractors are identified, who will supply the project with building material. Local community members are also identified for the provision of labour and expertise to the project.
During phase 3, widespread training is provided. The project steering committee is provided with management skills while community members are provided with artisan skills. Other community members are trained as village health workers and support the project with health and hygiene education.
During phase 4, monitoring takes place and stakeholder meetings are also conducted. Project plans with detailed specifications, site diaries, attendance registers, minutes of meetings, project progress reports, as well as photos are consistently used during stakeholder meetings. Actual progress evidence is presented to stakeholders and this builds credibility. Corrective action is taken when required and contingency plans are put into place when needed.
During phase 5, stakeholders are invited for the practical completion meeting. The retention period is explained and all parties are invited to inspect the completed project. If satisfied, the practical completion certificate is signed by all parties.
During phase 6, all relevant stakeholders are invited to the final completion meeting. All parties can then participate in the inspection of the project. If satisfied and convinced that everything is still in order, the final completion certificate is signed by all relevant stakeholders.
The Mvula Trust Community-Based Approach to Project Management and Infrastructure Creation ensures labour intensive construction methods. The procurement of local labour and locally manufactured products and materials is also intrinsic to all projects.
This approach focuses on creating capacity with local, small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME’s). The participatory approach also ensures that existing community structures are incorporated into rolling out Infrastructure Creation.
Local Economic Development activities are accordingly enhanced as a result of The Mvula Trust Community-Based Approach to Project Management.