03 Feb 21 News Communities South Africa

Noupoort enterprise grants targeted to drive job creation and training

Small business owners and non-profit leaders celebrate grant awards from Noupoort Wind Farm in a process that involved workshops on local needs

A diverse range of enterprises are to receive funding under a wind farm programme that is empowering a local South African community to shape and drive its own development.

Small and medium-size businesses, non-profit companies and a non-profit organisation were awarded grants by Noupoort Wind Farm following a series of workshops involving change-activists from the surrounding Northern Cape area.

Dumisani Mnweba, left in the hat, and his son Lukhangele, right, hope their grant-funded flock expansion will inspire more young people to start farming

As well as the funding, all of the beneficiaries will receive mandatory financial management training to help maximise the positive outcomes from the support. 

Wool and Mutton Exporters is a family enterprise that has big plans for its grant award of ZAR100,000.

Sheep farming has been a way of life for Dumisani Mnweba, and since formally registering as a business two years ago, he has been using skills learned on the Noupoort Wind Farm Entrepreneurial programme to build a thriving trade at the Port Elizabeth farmers market.

With the new funds for more Merino ewes, inoculations, a trailer and staff development, Dumisani is now set to realise his dream of exporting mutton and wool for the benefit of not just his own family, but also his local community.

Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager of Noupoort Wind Farm, said: "Mr Mnweba is going to go far. He is passionate to keep sheep farming an integral part of Noupoort and is mentoring youth to become farmers.

"His son, Lukhangele, who matriculated in 2020, is actively involved in the business and is encouraging the youth to venture into farming for employment and sustenance."

Mainstream's Sandisiwe says community involvement in ED planning will drive change

The funding is part of Noupoort Wind Farm’s Socio-economic and Enterprise Development programme, which is focused on mobilising communities to gain control over their own futures, an approach that research has shown to be most effective in delivering impactful, sustainable results.

Explaining the grant process, Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, Economic Development Manager of Noupoort Wind Farm, said: "Our workshops were very well received and drew up to 70 locals that are community change activists, so we were well prepared for a good number of applicants with solid proposals.

"This community development programme focuses on initiatives that are wanted and needed in the community, which will ultimately increase the impact and drive change exponentially."

  • Noupoort Wind Farm was developed, constructed and is now operated by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. The 80 MW plant began generating around 304,800MWh of clean energy a year for the Eskom grid in July 2016, enough to power up to 69,000 South African homes.