SaveAct was among a number of NGOs, development organisations and educational institutions to receive a grant yesterday from ACTSA-Wales/CYMRU at what has become its annual presentation ceremony.
Action for Southern Africa-Wales/CYMRU is the successor organisation to the Wales Anti-Apartheid Movement. It aims to support development projects in Southern Africa, eliminate poverty in the region and assist in educational projects. It also supports projects dealing with health initiatives, sport and religion and provides speakers where appropriate in an attempt to promote partnerships.
Thanking ACTSA’s Hanif and Yusuf Bhamjee for their support, SaveAct director Anton Krone said: “Of more value to me than the money, is the sense of partnership, of walking a path that goes back to the late 1980s when I was able to meet with them to discuss how we could collaborate to respond to the needs of refugees from the violence in the Midlands region, and consider how we would bring down apartheid. We are now into a long-term shared vision, to take reconstruction and development in the country beyond the vote, to address also the severe inequalities, high levels of youth unemployment and exclusion of women. There is much work to be done. I have been excited by the effects that savings groups have had on people, enabling them to take control of their lives and build their own enterprises.”
Krone said SaveAct was born out of a concern about the levels of HIV/AIDS in South Africa and the reluctance to enable access to ARVs some 12 years ago.
“There were various efforts to respond also to rural unemployment, but these had seldom led to sustainable outcomes. It was these challenges and the economic exclusion of rural women that gave rise to SaveAct. SaveAct is now operating in five provinces, and has trained 54 000 members in 2 400 savings groups. About 90% of these members are women. Most are residing in the economically marginal parts of South Africa (the former homeland areas). Almost 50% are youth, and some 80% receive social grants from government. SaveAct trains these groups to operate their groups effectively, achieve financial literacy and build their enterprises. SaveAct is grateful for the support from ACTSA as it has helped SaveAct in building robust monitoring and evaluation tools that assist us in tracking the changes amongst members,” he said.