Trust to face local challenges

2017-03-14 06:03
Thembinkosi Dantile (middle) is helping Vrygrond residents prepare for work through a programme offered by the Vrygrond Community Development Trust at the community centre.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Thembinkosi Dantile (middle) is helping Vrygrond residents prepare for work through a programme offered by the Vrygrond Community Development Trust at the community centre.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Vrygrond is reputedly the oldest informal settlement in the province and residents say development there has been at a snail’s pace.

The Vrygrond Community Development Trust (VCDT) was formed to help bring development to the area.

Having been crippled by mistakes in the past, the trust’s members say they have now engaged in a relationship with the community forum and have been working together of getting development back on track.

Natasha Thomas, general manager of the VCDT, says the trust has come a long way.

“The trust has been running for about 20 years. There were some challenges, including a breakdown in the relationship between the community and the trust. However, for the last couple of years that has been ironed out and we are growing.”

The trust was established for a housing project.

“The project was successful; there were 1600 houses built. As years went by there were more projects that were started. The trust oversees a lot of projects now as we have an early development centre that we support, a community library and other projects helping the youth with skills development.

“We have had the establishment of a community forum which is also growing from strength to strength. There are so many things that the community has identified as priorities for them and we will be assisting, advocating where we can and following it up together with the forum to approach the relevant stakeholders to achieve developmental needs in Vrygrond. Some of the things that they need are a clinic, a high school, even recreational facilities for our children,” says Thomas.

Thomas says they want residents to support the VCDT and Vrygrond Community Development Forum.

“The aim of the trust and the forum is to pursue further development in the area. We haven’t seen development in the area for the past 10 years. I don’t remember when last we had houses built in this area.

“We are calling on the community to work with us. We are here to advocate for the needs of the community. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done but we are happy that we are on the right track, working with the community.”

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