Community Dialogue in Hermanus

On the 12th of July 2017 Africa Unite partnered with the community of Hermanus (10 km away from Cape Town) and conducted a community dialogue at Zwelihle Hall (kwa Meneer). The purpose was to create a peaceful and progressive platform to allow community members to engage with, and develop recommendations to some of their daily challenges. The dialogue came as a follow up to two earlier sessions, which were a water and sanitation clean-up campaign, and gender based violence awareness session. The discussion was attended by leaders from different community structures, with the majority of them being youth leaders. Two local councillors, Mr. Macotha of Ward 12 and Mrs Pungu Pungu of Ward 5, were also present.

To start the dialogue, Cllr. Pungu Pungu welcomed everyone, spoke briefly about how she got in contact with Africa Unite, and expressed her hope that the dialogue would yield fruitful recommendations.  Africa Unite’s facilitator then opened the floor for the community to raise some of their challenges and share some success stories. Below are the issues which were raised:

  • Young people with registered businesses complained about the processes used by government institutions such as National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and SEDA, saying that they are not easily accessible to assist needy youth
  • Inadequate space for small and medium enterprises to operate their businesses in the area
  • There are limited facilities to train young people for them to acquire necessary skills that can make them easily employable or for them to launch their own businesses
  • Inequality is prominent, as an extremely rich area that is close to an extremely poor area
  • Some youth do not have identity documents and have to pay huge amounts of transport fee to access the nearby offices
  • Lack of important service providers offices such as SASSA, SARS, and Home Affairs
  • Lack of information about existing education, employment and business opportunities
  • Youth chose to spend time in taverns as they have a lot of talent, but there is little support provided for them to succeed with their abilities
  • Some NGO’s go there and speak about assisting the community, but vanish and never come back

Councillor Macotha also made a lengthy contribution where he raised the following concerns:

  • Lack of a reading culture, making it difficult for youth to get some of the opportunities available
  • Most parents fail to support and involve themselves in the lives of their children and they do not see education as an important tool of success
  • He complained of many young people are lazy and lack motivation, but want to get somewhere without putting in any effort

He also mentioned that he liked the dialogue because it also gave the audience the space to speak about some of the successes and opportunities of community which he identified as follows:

  • The Economic Development office is assisting people to register their businesses
  • The Department of Home Affairs might be established soon in the area to help people with their identity documents, but there are still negotiations taking place
  • Rural Development is rolling out plans for a youth centre, and engagements with Overstrand Municipality are already taking place.

The facilitator then challenged the audience to come up with recommendations that could be implemented to address these problems. The following strategies were raised:

  • Small businesses must make use of existing facilities to mobilise resources for their businesses.
  • The community needs to make use of LED and SETA.
  • The community needs to take part in programmes not because they are called by certain people, but because of the value they add in their lives and the people surrounding them
  • Big companies around Hermanus need to sponsor and hand out bursaries to deserving learners
  • Organisations and businesses should also focus on nurturing natural talents, and sport should be taken seriously
  • All participants agreed that they should not wait, but act now and take initiative.
  • More community dialogues of this nature should be conducted in the community in order to get the voices of different people, even those who are extremely marginalised.

In order to  ignite a youth movement and embrace a culture of active citizenship, it was agreed that Africa Unite will train a group of 20 – 30 youth from various townships surrounding Hermanus as human rights peer educators. They will be tasked to run human rights awareness sessions and campaigns in their respective communities, as well as lobby various stakeholders to promote accountability, and improve the lives of young people and the community at large.

To reiterate the dialogue, Cllr. Pungu Pungu thanked everyone who participated, and mentioned that her office was eager to assist in the implementation of the recommendations made. After the dialogue, the Africa Unite team was invited for lunch by one of our former peer educators living in the area. We are proud to announce that he has manged to open his own Youth Café, which is a one-stop hub where young people across the social divide can come together and access services, opportunities, and support provided by the public and private sectors.

Africa Unite is now busy organizing a human rights training camp for the young people in the area.


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Mandela Day Football

On the 18th July 2017, Africa Unite partnered with Ajax Cape Town to celebrate Mandela day, which is an international day in honour of Nelson Mandela’s fight for social justice. This day brings together people around the world to fight for social injustice, but also promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity.

Together, Africa Unite and the Ajax Training Facility organized friendly soccer matches for children coming from the underprivileged communities of Delft, Belhar, Gugulethu and Nyanga.

The purpose was to give these children the opportunity to play at the Ajax Cape Town training facility, and engage with soccer players they see as role models.

The  children from the informal settlements came together to play friendly matches in either the under 13 or under 18 years category. They were treated like professional soccer players, and got an opportunity to prepare in the official Ajax changing rooms in the morning, and were each provided with Ajax soccer kits for that day.

PSL player were also there to show support. In the morning they had a meet and greet session with the children, and in the afternoon they gave each child an Ajax gift bag. The day ended with a fun-filled photo shoot with the children raising their flags and smiles all around.





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3rd Annual Youth Indaba in Durban: “Creating a Youth-led vision for South Africa”

The ability for young people in South Africa to flourish remains limited, as they continue to face issues of poverty, crime, lack of education, and unemployment. Very few businesses are owned by young people. As such, in partnership with Africa Unite, the Democracy Development Program, Lindelani Youth Forum, Iziko and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) hosted the 3rd Annual Youth Indaba on the 14th to 15th of June 2017 at the Diakonia Centre in Durban. The theme of Indaba was, “Creating a Youth-led vision for South Africa”, and used the National Development Plan (DDP) as its guiding tool

The Indaba aimed to engage youth organizations, young entrepreneurs and innovators in a critical reflection of their work and of the state of youth in their respective communities. The Indaba fostered networks, facilitated knowledge exchange, and deepened the understanding of current policies and challenges affecting youth. There were a diverse group of institutions, and over 150 young people from places such as Ntuzuma, KwaMashu, Marianridge, Sydenham, Folweni, KwaMakhutha, KwaMhlab’uyalingana were present.

IMG_9663On the first day, four different sessions were held. The first was the National Development Plan session, which stressed the need to foster the capabilities of young people, and to translate them into development opportunities. The second was a motivation session, where young people were encouraged to adopt a mindset that is conducive to growth. For instance, one speaker spoke of the importance of accepting constructive criticism in business. Another speaker related the challenges he came across in his childhood, and emphasized that people should not let their backgrounds prevent them from pursuing their dreams. The last two sessions were held by the members of the Minara Chamber of Commerce. The first gave logistical pointers on how to succeed as an industrialist, and also encouraged people to develop specialized skills.  The second one considered the importance of building sustainable businesses, and allowing wealth to be distributed within communities.

On the second day, the first session focused on the politics of radical economic transformation. It covered issues such as the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) legislation which addresses skills development and black empowerment. It emphasized that young people should be self-sustaining, build an entrepreneurial culture, and fight for the survival of their businesses. The next session, facilitated by Harambee, addressed the challenges young people face in employment, and gave pointers on the skills necessary for employability, and to have a successful interview.

After the session, individuals were asked to discuss their most important takeaways from the two day Indaba, and how to make these ideas come to life through their organizations, communities and as individuals. Ideas included:

  • Sharing business knowledge with tertiary students through discussions and dialogues
  • Supporting local businesses by buying from them
  • Hiring locally skilled individuals, rather than people from other areas
  • Bursary forms obtained from the exhibitors will be photocopied and distributed in local schools
  • Organize a dialogue and train pupils on alternatives to violence to break the cycle of violence in high schools.
  • Work with the community in unmasking the underlying factors of teenage pregnancies and how these can be halted in Ntuzuma community.

For more pictures, click here.

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Love music, dancing, having fun and meeting new people ? Join our African dance classes once a month !

Africa Unite invites you for African Dance Classes every first Saturday of the month.
If you want to spend a Saturday morning having fun and discovering a part of South African culture, this is the best opportunity for you ! Come and learn West African dance, Zulu dance, Gumboot dance and many others ! Moreover, it will be a great occasion to meet new people, have a good time and network.

Funds raised will be used for our ‘’Singamakhalipa’’ Children’s Programme” in Gugulethu townships which intends to help children develop their resilience skills so that they can solve a wide range of social problems such as domestic violence, alcohol abuse, poverty, HIV/AIDS, gangsterism and school dropout etc.

The sessions will take place at 6 Spin Street, at Africa Unite office between 10:00 am to 1p.m . You can buy a ticket only for R100 the session (3hours).

If you want to take part in this project, contact us at (021) 461 6551or

To check out more pictures from the amazing day, click here

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Ending violence against women and children in South Africa

142.  That is the disheartening average number of sexual offenses recorded daily according to the 2015/16  annual police statistics report. In addition, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS), 15,790 rapes perpetrated against children were recorded in 2015/2016. During this same time frame, more than 19 children were murdered in Cape Town alone.

All of this violence has created a public outcry, although the situation is nothing new. Year after year the violence rates against women and children, including rape and murder, have been extremely high. Rape has become a way of life in South Africa, according to the Health System Trust.


According to a New Age Newspaper article published on the 31st May 2017, 63 women were killed this year in the month of May alone. The media has embraced these alarming statistics, and South Africans everywhere have been engaging with the topic via social media. Very symbolic hashtags such as #MenAreTrash and #NotAllMen have been trending. However, hashtags alone are not remotely enough to remedy the situation.


“So, what can be done to address the outbreak of gender-based violence in South Africa?”

Women and children are very vulnerable in our patriarchal society. Violence against these marginalized groups, should it be sexual, physical or psychological in nature, is a violation of human dignity and a threat to social cohesion.

To address this human rights issue, Africa Unite believes in raising awareness within the communities.  In response, we have decided to do the following activities:

  • Run a social media campaign starting from Tuesday the 13th of June. We will be asking for your support. You can connect with us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Silent demonstrations starting from the 19th of June.
  • Information sessions on gender-based violence, targeting young boys and girls in schools.

How can you join Africa Unite in this social media campaign?

  1. Take a picture of yourself holding a placard with your recommendations (solutions, way forward, action plan) to end violence against women and children.
  2. Post the picture on your own Facebook and/or Twitter account.
  3. Don’t forget to tag Africa Unite and to use the hashtag:

#EndViolenceAgainstWomenAndChildren. It will enable us to find your post and share it on our own page.

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Tasting our way through Africa and beyond: Celebrating Africa Day at Africa Unite

Here at Africa Unite, it’s not all work and no play. We manage to sneak in fun whenever we can!  

On Tuesday, 23rd of May 2017, Africa Unite and friends celebrated an early Africa Day. On this day people not only celebrate the African Union, but the idea of a united Africa and its diversity. We at Africa Unite took it a step further and used the festivities as a opportunity to recognize and value all the different nationalities – European, American and African –  that form the Africa Unite Family.

FOOD Celebrating Africa Day started in the early afternoon with all the staff members of Africa Unite and Africa Unite’s Singamakhalipha programme coming together at the main office in town. Everyone brought in home-made traditional dishes, and the food was arranged in the board room to form a mouthwatering international buffet.

With 12 countries and cultures represented, we had a huge variety of food ranging from Malawian mandasi, Austrian apple strudel, Capetonian cottage pie, Congolese fish and cassava leaf stew, to Xhosa umvupho, French crêpes, American “dirty rice” and many more tasty treats.  After everyone filled  their plates with the assorted delicious choices the buffet had to offer, we joined together around the table to enjoy the different flavours and aromas of our homes.

As part of the celebration of our diversity, everyone prepared a short presentation of their respective countries and cultures. While digging into the food, the presentations started. They varied from powerpoint presentations, visual contributions (like short videos), to vocal inputs such as traditional songs and even a short role playing skit. Participants wore traditional clothes to add special flair to the event.

Africa Day 1

Everyone is attentively listening to Priscilla’s presentation about the Warm Heart of Africa,  her home country Malawi.

To get an even better understanding of the different countries and cultures represented in the office, we were given the opportunity to have little discussions and ask questions for clarification.

Not only sharing food, but  laughter too, we really enjoyed each others’ company. Everyone appreciated the vibrant cultural atmosphere created by the mix of:


Fatimata in her traditional Fulani attire, about to try the traditional Xhosa drink Umqombhothi

Fulani Culture (Senegal) – Zimbabwe – Brittany Culture (France) – The Netherlands –  Xhosa Culture (South Africa) –  Malawi –  Austria/Vienna –  Martinique –  South Africa/Cape Flats –  Democratic Republic of Congo – Somalia – USA/California

The event helped to broaden the participants’ view about all the countries and cultures represented and sparked curiosity among the colleagues to pay a visit.

Overall, it was a successful Africa Day at the Africa Unite office, thanks to all that participated! To check out a few more pictures from the festivities, click here.

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Africa Unite Teaming with the SA Red Cross for Disaster Relief During the Worst Storm in Cape Town in 30 years

On Wednesday June 7th, while most people were hunkered down in their homes enduing the wrath of one of the worst storms to hit Cape Town in decades, Africa Unite teamed up with the South African Red Cross to help with disaster relief.


AU interns Nolween, Luuk, Swana, Laura, Sophie, and Lyvia teaming up with the Red Cross

During the course of the storm, 8 people were killed, 135 schools were damaged, and thousands of people were left homeless after gale force winds and extreme flooding pounded the outskirts of Cape Town.

Africa Unite interns and peer educators gathered in the morning of the storm at the Red Cross warehouse in Wynberg to prepare food packages, with non-perishable items such as flour, sugar, maize meal, soya mince, peanut butter, jam, and tea. An intern with a background in meteorology also assisted the Red Cross with storm prediction and assessment, to help predict what areas were going to be hit the hardest.


Lyvia sorting hygiene products for first aid packs

After preparing and loading the supplies, the team then traveled to the community of Makassar, which suffered greatly during the storm.  The team met with the community leader and dropped off over 100 parcels of food, men and women’s hygiene products, baby supplies (including food, diapers, and soap), and blankets. The community leader dispursed the emergency aid packs throughout the night to affected families.


Busy at work at the Red Cross warehouse in Wynburg

AU intern Luuk Hootsen said of the day’s events, “It was a heavy day, but very fulfilling. I gained so much respect for the Red Cross. After a 12-hour day of work, most of the work was done. We went home but a lot of the people from Red Cross worked throughout the night.”

A big thank you to the South African Red Cross for all their work in disaster relief from the storm; the affected communities are in the thoughts of Africa Unite.

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