Local Economic Enterprise Development
Over and above its commitment to regional procurement as quantified in the “Benefit Statements” a key objective for TFPD is to provide support to local entrepreneurs, operating small and micro enterprises in the areas in which it manages community owned lodges, in order to assist them in developing their business. It is also important to TFPD that the lodges it manages showcase the artworks and crafts of local artists in order to expose their talent and promote sales of their works.
This is achieved by:
Sourcing products for the lodges e.g. furniture, artworks, curtains and various services such as catering, laundry etc. from suppliers such as Bolof Construction, Tsepenang Co-op, Thomas Kubayi and many others
Providing a market through the lodge for the product of artists and crafters e.g. art, jewellery and other craft sales through the lodges’ craft shops e.g. Bushman crafters, Themba Masala’s Raaswater Paper Craft and Design Studio and Twananani Textiles
Assisting in creating new markets for the producers and suppliers e.g. Baleni Sacred Salt, Red Cedar amenities, Sotho rugs manufactured by a Tsheseng women’s group and the caterers and taverns in the village of Blouberg e.g. Mrs Molobo’s Tavern
Assisting them in identifying new product designs for the market e.g. Emandulo Creation’s pottery lamps and shades and candlestick holders, Vezokuhle’s bed-comforters and wall-hangings, Mr Molete’s range of furniture
Assisting in governance and business registration processes e.g. Mr Molete’s Bolof Construction, Tefo Magasane’s Emandulo Creations
It is also important to TFPD that sales to guests at its lodges of community produced products is encouraged and that all or the majority of the sales value goes to the community producer. In an endeavour to achieve this the policy followed by TFPD is as follows:
- Where craft products are manufactured on the lodge site such as in the case of the Bushmen Crafters at !Xaus Lodge, the crafters retain 100% of the value of any sales made to guests
- Where crafts or other products are sold from the lodge’s craft shop the lodges apply a conservative mark-up, usually around 30%, in order to cover the cost of VAT, credit card commission, bank charges and a small administration fee.
TFPD works with community structures and Government agencies to identify new sustainable business opportunities in the vicinity of its lodges that can then leverage off the lodge in order to create economic benefit for local communities. The local communities will be supported to establish legal structures and raise capital in order to become beneficial owners of the investment as well as be the beneficiaries of jobs created.
Four such initiatives are in the planning and development phase:
- Fuel filling station, convenience store and ATM in Tsheseng Village (Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge) and Dovhu Village (Awelani Lodge). Both these villages are located a significant distance from fuel outlets and access to banking facilities which has negative consequences for the local community.
- Micro dairy producing goats cheese to be established in the vicinity of Awelani Lodge.
- Micro tannery and leather processing workshop, curing skins from the local community’s cattle and turning these into floor rugs and other leather products, to be established near Mahlathi Safari Lodge in Limpopo Province.