Michele du Plessis
“Calling all leaders on the West Coast!
See what happened in other parts of the country. We need to act now to prevent it from happening on the West Coast as well. Many reasons mooted but I am sure poverty and neglect played a major part,” Luther Diedericks, Managing Director of the Hope Initiative said.

What happend elsewere?
In the aftermath of former President Jacob Zuma’s arrest, violent riots, looting and destruction of infrastructure erupted in two provinces, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. Many people believe that the arrest of Zuma was used as a deplorable excuse for the path of destruction left in the protestors, rioters and looters’ wake. As a result, extensive damage to 161 malls, 11 warehouses, 8 factories, 161 liquor outlets and distributors, 200 shopping centres looted and damaged, 1400 ATM’s damaged, 300 banks and post offices vandalized and 113 communication infrastructure significantly damaged. 90 Pharmacies were destroyed beyond revival. More than 50 schools were looted, burned and vandalised in KZN.

This resulted in 150 000 jobs at risk, 50 000 informal traders losing their income and 40 000 businesses affected. The eThekwini Economic Development and Planning Committee estimated that R1.5 billion in goods was destroyed in the riots, R15 billion in infrastructure was lost, according to IOL. The consequence: R20 billion impact on KZN GDP and the impact on the National GDP is R50 billion. As reported by Bloomberg, at least 215 people have lost their lives amid this civil unrest. Even though the disorder and insurgence were suppressed, but the damage to South Africa will be enduring.

And the West Coast?
Although the West Coast remained mostly unaffected by the violence and unrest, there has been some recent protest actions. “Let’s take hands and build a West Coast all can be proud of and will gladly contribute to.
The Hope Initiative
I have established a Non-profit Organisation called The Hope Initiative to support the effort. See my vision depicted below the MD said. To make the West Coast Peninsula, the most sought after prosperous, develope visit/ stay/work area in the Western Cape with a friendly, proud, sharing and contributory community to the benefit of all its people.
PURPOSE – To realise synergy through:
● Collaboration between organisations
● Identify and contributing to collective Projects
● To fulfil a functional role to realise the vision of the West Coast Peninsula and/or render an institutional service
● Promoting Health and Safety; Community, Social and Economic Development; Infrastructure and Sustainability; Participatory Governance and Administration Represented Facilitation
● To realise the vision of the West Coast by:
● Establishing and supporting a social and economic ecosystem
● Project management of collective projects
● Fundraising
● Public relations and communication
● Training and development
● Research and development
“I believe economic development is a process of all participating in the local economy to keep it grow and making it possible for all to share in the growth. It is also about assisting communities to make more of what they have, rather than relying on external sources. To survive, small rural communities need to form regional alliances or establish networks and business clusters that add value to each other. There is a definite need for poverty alleviation initiatives to be implemented within the local municipalities. Integrated economic development and poverty alleviation is not an easy task and the integration of poverty alleviation strategies with the local economic development process is a responsibility that cannot be undertaken by the government alone. Both the public and the private sector must work together on identified programs and projects. Only then will we succeed,” Luther concluded.


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