WHO WE ARE
The Diepsloot Foundation's (TDF) core purpose is to be a credible service provider and funding vehicle for Corporate Socio-Economic Development (CSI), and Skills and Enterprise Development projects that are focused on empowerment and upliftment of the Diepsloot Community, through formal education and training.
Currently this includes Early Childhood Development (ECD), Adult Education (AET), and Skills Training.
DIEPSLOOT - THE CONTEXT
Diepsloot is a sprawling, densely populated township, in the north of Johannesburg, South Africa, and comprises both formal and informal settlements. It was established in 1995 as a transit camp for people who had been removed from Zevenfontein. Delays in providing the land promised resulted in many residents in this tented camp making Diepsloot a permanent home. By 1999 there were about 4000 families living in backyard shacks and 6035 families in the transit zone. To compound the congestion, in 2001 the Gauteng government moved about 5,000 families to Diepsloot as part of the Alexandra Renewal Project. Diepsloot is now a formally declared component of Region A in the greater Johannesburg Metro.
Diepsloot is now home to 500,000+ people. 10000 families live in formal RDP-type homes, but the vast majority of the inhabitants live in 3m-by-2m shacks assembled from scrap metal, wood, plastic and cardboard. Many lack access to basic services such as running water, sewage and rubbish removal. The environment in Diepsloot is probably shocking to the 1st time observer but rubble strewn tracks that pass for roads and the shocking sanitation do not reflect the tight knit and vibrant community that lives amidst the seemingly depressing surroundings. The sections where new houses are being built are already creating hubs of nice homes with proud owners who want to stay there because of the community spirit.
The good news is that the development of Diepsloot Ext 14 has been approved and early signs of infrastructure establishment are evident – this has a bearing on the skills areas The Diepsloot Foundation will be introducing in the expanded vocational programmes.
Estimates indicate that half the population in the settlement is unemployed – 72%+ of the 18 to 30 year olds. The consequence of this alarming state of affairs is extreme poverty, rampant crime and other social ills, including the physical abuse of women and children. The high level of unemployment stems, in a large measure, from the low levels of education and skills.
The education system has all but collapsed in Diepsloot and most school leavers are ill-equipped to become gainfully employed in the formal job market or start their own enterprises. TDF’s approach seeks to address this challenge through carefully designed interventions in our Early Childhood Development Centre and a range of programmes for school leavers who are unsuccessful themselves in breaking the shackles of unemployment and poverty.