The project is part of the DED’s drive to increase private participation as a form of corporate social investment.
The pilot project is aimed at giving pupils in the Limpopo Province access to experiential learning in chemistry and physics.
The DED aims at funding the training material, and a teacher, with 50% of the project cost, and the other 50% will be contributed by the private partner.
The book manufacturer’s role will be to develop the training material and training equipment for the pupils and the teachers.
Further, a skills-development pilot project was launched earlier this month by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) Section 21 company and the National Coordinating Office for Manufacturing Advisory Centres (Namac), the nongovernmental organisation (NGO) German Development Service (DED) with involvment from the Business Skill South Africa Foundation (BBSA), Pretoria.
The project aims at training small- and medium-sized enter-prise (SME) owners.
“The programme consists of eight modules and will train these business owners in the art of productivity and competitiveness,” enthuses DED regional PPP coordinator Bernhard Schulz.
The pilot project is currently 100% funded by the German government and is being run in Pretoria, the Eastern Cape and Port Elizabeth.
Once the pilot study is com-pleted, external funding has to be secured.
“In the last few years it has become increasingly clear that the aims of private companies and development organisations can complement each other in many respects.” He says that fields of work that could be relevant for PPPs are skills development; market introduction of new technologies and renewable energy; production, logistics and marketing; certification of products and processes; improvement of health care (HIV/Aids); development of infrastructure for information and communication technologies (ICTs); introduction of environ-mental and social standards and participation in fair trade; and environmental sustainability and protection of natural resources and mediation among industry, administration and civil society.
“PPPs will enable us to initi-ate more projects,” he substanti-ates.
Schulz mentions that there are certain criteria for a PPP project such as that the DED cooperates mainly with small- and medium-sized companies and/or their associations.
However, cooperation with larger, including international, companies is also possible.
“The development effects of the projects are not only aimed at benefiting the partner companies.” “The projects do not only aim at economic gain, but additionally contribute to development of the specific partner country,” he explains.
The role of the DED in a PPP is that it will deploy its specialists in the companies, their associations or other organisations as part of the project.
Further, the DED will provide the technical support, assist in project planning, find suitable applicants, link the project with project-relevant authorities and institutions and will accompany the company throughout all the project phases with the expert knowledge of its specialists in the host country, as well as at its head office in Germany.
“We also provide broad-ranging knowledge in partici-pative-planning methods and conflict management, with the contribution of the DED amounting to a maximum of 50% of the overall cost of the joint project,” Schulz assures.
All that is required from the contributing company is that it is actively involved in the conception, planning, implementation and evaluation of the project.
The company must provide its experience and knowledge to the project and make a substantial contribution of at least 50% of the project costs, which may include indirect services, such as the activation of company personnel or infrastructure.
The DED is also actively pursuing a project to give hotels in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga access to quality branding to improve the business of these small hotels.
Schulz says that the German government contributes R30-million of funding every year to South Africa and some 1 000 development workers in more than 40 countries, of which 40 are situated in South Africa.
“The idea of PPPs was launched in June this year as a drive to get private partners to contribute as part of their corporate and social responsiblity,” he says.
One example of a PPP project run by the DED is in Vietnam.
As part of this programme, multiple models for cooperation with the local private sector will be developed and implemented.
“Although Vietnam has experienced a rapid economic growth in the last ten years, many rural areas do not bene-fit from this growth and a large percentage of the rural popu-lation is either unemployed or underemployed,” Schulz says.
The My Huong company in the Ninh Binh Province is an embroidery company of which 70% of the products are made by home workers.
The company has an annual turnover of €500 000 but, because the demand is increasing, the training of additional embroiderers and the provision of working tools for these embroiders were needed.
This was the ideal context for a PPP, where the company provides trainers and primary working tools and organises and implements a three-month training course.
“The DED provides the funding for the training courses and will give technical advice,” he says.
This project enables the com-pany to meet the increased demand and therefore increase profits, and, from a development-policy perspective, the project creates independent income opportunities for women in poor regions.
“In addition, the project also makes a contribution to the revival of traditional handicraft and folk art in the region,” Schulz concludes.