Critical Mass Developments have the ability to change the economic landscape of an area. The eLan Group as Property Developers, has a vision which has always extended beyond the borders of the estate to include neighbouring communities. It has never been the intention of the Group to create islands of wealth amidst a sea of poverty, but rather to harness the economic potential that a development brings for the positive. With a larger footprint, outside of the development itself, the eLan Foundation aims to boost the multiplier effect, minimising leakages and improve linkages for an area.
Operating in the private sector, the eLan Group will encourage cooperation and private public partnerships, using the eLan Foundation as a vehicle to kick-start such initiatives. As more companies are looking to the triple bottom line (profit, environmental responsibility and social awareness), business is now operating with a conscience. With companies coordinating their social efforts, together we can achieve more.
Working towards improving the lives of local communities surrounding eLan Developments.
What is the eLan Foundation?
- It is a mechanism to raise funding in order to improve the well being of communities surrounding eLan Developments
- It is a body which steers and manages the social initiatives within the eLan Group
- It is a NPO and Section 21 Registered Company
Aims of the Foundation
- To research needs and identify opportunities
- To raise funds and implement projects at grassroots level
- To uplift and improve communities surrounding eLan Developments
- To integrate (cross-pollinate) projects as far as possible so that every effort has maximum gain
- To meet with government approval in terms of projects that share a similar vision
- To have strategic alliances with existing service organisation
- To create opportunities for previously disadvantaged communities through the intellectual capital of the eLan group and funding from corporates
- Must meet a basic need (although many individuals may operate with good intentions, their activities are superfluous if the right need is not being met)
- Must be sustainable (community driven initiatives with community interaction vital)
- Does not benefit an individual but rather a group
- Relative (to the environment we are working in)
- Relevant (to the companies and organisation we deal with)
Pillars of the Foundation
Nine distinct areas of influence have been identified. These form the pillars to the eLan Foundation and have been categorised in order to focus on achieving more than one objective, when a particular community project is implemented.
To ensure that each initiated project is sustainable, research into needs identification is critical. Research into surrounding communities assists in identifying existing projects that are in place thereby not duplicating efforts but rather working in building communities together. Research will be underpinned by the principle of relevance so that funding can be relative to eLan and its associated business partners.
02/ Integrated Human Settlement
In keeping in line with the vision of the Ministry of Housing*, eLan Developments will strive to meet the most basic need of human existence, shelter. Whether it be in the form of inclusionary housing or the upgrading of existing homesteads or the provision of housing components nearby, the sphere of influence that a development has will far extend the borders of the estate itself. Furthermore, integrated living scenarios will be explored at a macro level to integrate people from all walks of life.
*To establish and facilitate a sustainable process that provides equitable access to adequate housing or all within the context of affordability of housing and services and access to social amenities and economic opportunities.
03/ Skills Development
In order to improve the social structure of the community once the basic needs have been met, the introduction of SETA Training Programmes will skill and equip a large workforce as a resource pool for the development. The eLan Foundation will be pivotal in bridging the skills gap that currently exists in many of our locations, especially for the unemployed, and will instil working communities with a tangible, trainable, certifiable and accountable measure of skills training..
Sustainable farming projects including (where viable) organic practices will be introduced to communities and the introduction of agricultural landscaping and edible gardens in social housing communities. The focus will also be to move from subsistence based farming to commercially viable cash crops thereby bringing in much needed revenue streams.
With the tagline “Good Living is in your Nature” it is the ethos of the eLan Group to put environmental concerns first when embarking on a development. The rehabilitation process of the land is of paramount importance as are indigenous planting philosophies. Green building practices will be encouraged as will environmentally friendly living conditions and renewable energy sources.
The antics of the previous government have left a backlog of more than 40 years of education. Illiteracy rates are high at around 24% of adults over 15 years old (6- to 8-million adults are not functionally literate). The aim of the Foundation will be to establish crèches, schools, community centres and similar institutions (either new or improve existing) to educate the youth as well as adults through Adult Literacy Programmes. Career learnership programmes will assist with Tertiary Education. Bursary systems will be implemented both academic and sporting to further encourage growth.
The need for adequate nutrition and food supply exists in varying degrees, most specifically in the outer edges of the population spectrum – the very youngest and the very oldest of the generation who are the most vulnerable members of the community. A meal not only provides food as a basic necessity for the human body, but assists in the warding off of various diseases and infections when part of a balanced and managed feeding programme. Feeding schemes also serve as the entry point to a number of subsistence programmes that aim to teach people how to provide for themselves while encouraging greater involvement in the community through youth programmes, HIV awareness programmes and the like.
The high infection rate of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa, notably among adults in the 20 to 45 year age gap, means that this disease is affecting South Africa’s economy as labourers performance levels drop. With one of the highest infection rates in the world, the love and care extended through an HIV/AIDS educational and caring programmes gives hope to thousands of people who are struggling with this disease every day.
08/ Economic Empowerment
A prerequisite laid down by the eLan Group, contractors will be required to recruit their labour force from local communities, where previously unemployed individuals would have completed SETA Training and would be equipped to take on permanent employment. The number of jobs created through the development of a project will have a measurable impact on neighbouring communities, which in turn flushes finances through this micro economy and opens up the opportunity for small entrepreneurial feeder businesses to start.
SMME opportunities exist at large surrounding the implementation of a development. As volume and quantity is the key here, once skilled and equipped with the right tools, SMMEs will be able to manufacture goods locally (reducing not only transport costs, but also carbon footprints) and supply these to the development company. The eLan Foundation will be in a position to facilitate business linkages between SMMEs and related corporates and this empowerment opportunity is vital for the social structure of the community. Most significantly though, is that the SMME can sustain itself and recruit new business opportunities once the development has been completed due to the experience, large turnover and existing business credits it has already achieved. In essence the key multiplier effect will exist and it will be the goal of the eLan Foundation to minimise leakages and improve linkages.
The need to introduce and support sports at grass-roots level brings about a social element which is critical for the youth of today. Using sport as a catalyst, the eLan Foundation will bring people together developing their sporting aspirations. For a nation that generally loves the various disciplines of sports (both to take part in and to spectate), various sporting clinics, sporting schools and sporting incentives will be eagerly met by communities who have not previously had such opportunities.
The majority of the eLan Brand Ambassadors are sporting celebrities and their knowledge, skill and influence can be put to great measure in not only initiating projects, but also assisting in the raising of funds for them, together with the eLan Foundation. These sporting heroes have the power to motivate, inspire and enthuse!
The battle against poverty is one that we cannot afford to lose!
Although we will never be able to fully close the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s’, we can ensure that our developments do not exist in isolation, excluding local communities. By focusing on these communities, we are focusing on the future and opening the door of opportunity, give people hope and a chance in life.
The eLan Group in its capacity as Property Developers will through private sector investment, aim to influence, change and initiate substantial projects in surrounding communities and will aim to create a symbiotic relationship between the communities and the developments at large.