The Stories of Naledi: – Proud of what has been achieved. Getting to work in the present. Working on the future!
During the ‘apartheid’, land workers on the farms were never sure of their future. All the rules were aimed at keeping the white farmers in power, and the workers in a position of dependence. After the end of the apartheid in 1990, this situation remained the same on many farms.
The founders of the Earthrise Trust, together with the community of Naledi village, want to demonstrate that farms and communities in South Africa can be run in a more equitable way. Gino Govender, one of the founders of the Earthrise Trust: ‘Everything we do here is aimed at strengthening the dignity of the people.’
Therefore, community-led initiatives have been started up in Naledi, which are divided into different companies. On top of this, the Earthrise Trust has ensured that for the first time in the history of South Africa, land rights could be returned to the community of Naledi village. The existing rules did not allow this, and thanks to this lobbying, an example has been set for other communities in South Africa. Additionally, they now work together with the regional government, so that subsidies can be applied for and there will be access to electricity.
Naledi is a dynamic community. We look at the past, the present and the future, and allow the inhabitants to speak for themselves.
Malerata Cecilia Chaka (63) – Proud of what has been achieved.
Malerata Cecilia Chaka has lived in Naledi Village her entire life. She is a mother of 3 children, one of which has died, and the others still live in Naledi too. Malerata is actively involved in the cultural group in Naledi. “The Earthrise has helped the cultural group be able to go over to other villages and places for performances, in order to help remind the youth of their roots.”
Her childhood was by no means easy: her father left the family when she was very young. Her mother both had to provide an income as well as take care of her and her brothers. When her brothers had grown up, they abandoned their mother. Malerata’s mother moved in with her.
The founding of the cooperation has helped Malerata make some money of her own. There is activity all over the village now, and she hopes to have chickens one day, in order to generate some extra income. She also considers herself lucky there is now electricity in the village and that the infrastructure is continually improving. One remaining problem is the water supply. This still needs to be improved.
Malerate has always taken care of other people, and kept the house in order. Her combativeness has not diminished in all those years: ‘I remember how things used to be in Naledi. I am truly proud of what has been achieved here and I know that the the children will develop the community further.’