Project Koba-Tlala now has a presence in four provinces


In its efforts to ensure the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), particularly its Reserve Force component, adds value to South African society in its broadest sense the Koba-Tlala project drivers have met with provincial governments, universities, development agencies and the corporate sector.

Originally envisaged by Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as the defence force’s contribution to rural development in South Africa, Koba-Tlala has morphed into a project that dovetails with the aims and objectives of government’s National Development Plan.

Rural development as far as community involvement and empowerment remains firmly in place with projects such as fresh produce supply to military bases and co-operatives to create work still on the agenda. Added to them are re- and upskilling of Reserve Force soldiers to make them more employable in the private sector. This will see, in many instances, part-time soldiers not having to rely solely on the stipend received while in uniform.

North West province was the initial target objective for Koba-Tlala where, among others, community development interventions were set up with the aid of the provincial government in the form of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Emergent Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (NERPO), North West University and AgriSA, the national agricultural representative organisation.

Senior Koba-Tlala drivers including Brigadier General Gerhard Kamffer and Lieutenant Colonel Philip Coetzer took the project, which has the full support of SANDF Chief, General Solly Shoke, to Eastern Cape, Free State and Limpopo as part of making it national. Here again provincial governments and universities were brought into the mix along with the African Farmer Association, Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency, Vhembe District Municipality and representatives of King Ndamase of Libode in Eastern Cape.

According to Coetzer the meeting with the King and his council “paved the way for further partnership initiatives in Eastern Cape”.

On the achievements side of the ledger Koba-Tlala has to date seen learners, including Reserve Force and community members, from five provinces complete community development and liaison SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited training. The North West University has formalised a development model to support reskilling. This will allow for digital and non-digital learning environments to further boost skills also in support of government’s nine point development plan.