The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve recently embarked on an employment program to benefit the communities within the Biosphere, namely Saldanha, Vredenburg, Langebaan and surrounding areas. Unfortunately these areas suffer from high unemployment rates and debilitating poverty. The CWCBR aims to eradicate these problems with solutions that coincide with the broader goals for the conservation of the Biosphere.
One hundred employment contracts for Conservational Labourers were created and filled by the CWCBR within a week. They were assigned to clear alien vegetation in order to create and maintain a single lane bike track, control erosion, construct wooden sty's over fences, plant trees and shrubs at the entrances to towns and communities, clean up the coastal areas and to support the CWCBR Trails service delivery by assisting the guides, caterers, cleaners and promoters.
In general, baseline day to day activities include cleaning, greening and beautifying of the disadvantaged sectors of these communities. The employment program will initially run over a course of 7-8 months, benefiting workers not only financially, but also by instilling a sense of pride in themselves and their communities.