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Forming partnerships for land reform: Vumelana Advisory Fund signs agreement to support Kokame CPA in the North West in developing their land 

22 February 2018, South Africa

The Vumelana Advisory Fund (Vumelana) has signed an agreement with the Kokame Communal Property Association (CPA) in the North West. The agreement is intended to support the community in identifying potential investors to work with them to make their land productive. To facilitate the process, Vumelana has appointed Croftland Business Development Services (Croftland BDS) to act as the transaction advisor to the CPA.

The CPA successfully acquired its land through the land restitution process in 2010 and since then has been attempting to source funding to support its growth and development. However, as with a number of CPA’s, this has been difficult.

Established in 2012, Vumelana supports the establishment of commercially viable partnerships between investors and beneficiaries of the land reform programme to create jobs, income and skills. The Fund’s main objective is to demonstrate the value of community private partnerships (CPPs) as a contributor to successful land reform.

An opportunity was identified to link the CPA’s property to Madikwe Game Reserve, one of the country’s exclusive Big Five reserves. Since then, ongoing talks and engagement has been taking place with the North West Parks Board, who fully supports the partnership and proposed initiative.

Titus Seloro, Deputy Chairperson of the Kokame CPA, says, “Since our claim was settled in 2010, we have not received any funding from government.

We were stuck, but with this arrangement between the CPA, Vumelana and Croftland we are hopeful of a bright future for our people and for job creation in our community. We trust that this will change our lives for the better.”

Mazwi Mkhulisi, Programmes Manager at Vumelana, explains, “The community private partnership model has been key in contributing towards pockets of success in a number of projects in which Vumelana has been involved.“

“While it is true that the pace of land reform could be improved, serious attention ought to be given to what happens after land has been transferred to beneficiaries. Productive use of restored land will make South Africa’s land reform process a success. Vumelana’s support for CPPs presents one in a range of possible solutions towards successful land reform,” continues Mkhulisi.

According to Tim Damons, CEO of Croftland BDS, land reform beneficiaries often look to the government to fund the development on their transferred land, but as we all know, state resources are limited. “The private sector has to come to the party and this is where Vumelana steps in as an important enabler.”

“When a viable project is identified, Vumelana makes use of one of their contracted transaction advisors to take the project from concept stage all the way through to partnership agreements for the implementation of commercial ventures. We agree on the developmental concept with the community, package it and take it to market to find a suitable investor,” explains Damons.

“We see real value in community public private partnerships like these and we believe that this approach will definitely lead to the upliftment of communities across South Africa. It alleviates some of the burden placed on government, who is a major contributor to socio-economic development, by finding innovative ways to build a better, brighter future for our people with the help and support of the private sector. This is how we build South Africa,” adds Damons.

About Vumelana Advisory Fund

The Vumelana Advisory Fund is a non-profit organisation that helps beneficiaries of the land reform programme put their land to profitable use by establishing commercially viable partnerships between communities and investors. The Fund was established in 2012 to support the establishment of commercially viable partnerships between investors and beneficiaries of the land reform programme, in order to create jobs, income and skills. The Fund’s main objective is to demonstrate the value of community-private partnerships (CPPs) as a contributor to successful land reform.

Vumelana means to agree with one another, make a contract with one another, support one another.