In a major boost for skills and employment in the Richmond Park community, 120 people have graduated with new skills as part of The Richmond Park Treasury Trust skills development programme.
Richmond Park is a multi-billion Rand mixed-use property development in Milnerton, Cape Town, by major shareholder Atterbury, the leading South African property investor and developer, and partners the Richmond Park Communal Property Association, Qubic 3 Dimensional Property and Bethel Property.
One of the largest property developments in Cape Town, Richmond Park’s 300,000 sqm of greenfields development rights are on an 84ha site that is part of the milestone land restitution settlement.
The land is owned by the Richmond Park Community who were forcibly removed from it between 1972 and 1984. In 2014, the land transferred back to the Community, some 401 families representing 5,300 people spanning five generations. The Richmond Park Community leased the land to the Richmond Park Development Company and has 25% shareholding in the development company.
“The graduation ceremony was a joyous celebration of the meaningful positive socio-economic impacts and real upliftment opportunities that Richmond Park is producing for its community,” says Zahn Hulme, Atterbury Trust Executive Trustee and a Trustee of the Richmond Park Treasury Trust, which aims to open new doors for this community through projects that address unemployment and skills shortages.
Over 400 people attended the graduation event at the Faith Community Church in Atlantis, which Ceremony was organised by the Richmond Park Community and the Trust. Participants included representatives from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the City of Cape Town and community leaders, as well as Richmond Park developers. Rudi Adams, Chairman of the Richmond Park Community Property Association (CPA), said that the CPA will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the Richmond Park community and their children will have opportunities for a better future. Shoprite supported the event by sponsoring gift packs for all the graduates.
The 120 graduates completed skills development training in various disciplines in the building industry with diplomas in bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, painting and electrical skills.
However, graduates left the ceremony with more than new skills and certificates, but also with new prospects for a brighter future. Already, they have benefited from more than 30 employment opportunities as a result of their new skills, so far.
“We are able to develop skills, empower people and create employment when communities, government and business work together. Together we can solve problems, bring justice and create and build our cities to be inclusive, commercially viable and sustainable.” says Richard Glass of Bethel Property.
Nine graduates have been employed by Burger & Wallace, the main civil contractor Richmond Park. This figure is expected to more than double in the next two months.
In addition, DC Electrical Cape will employ 21 graduates who completed their electrical qualifications. First, they will work on other projects in the region, then, when the electrical work phase begins for Richmond Park next year, they’ll apply their skills on this development on their own community owned land.
Building on the success of the skills training programme, The Master Builders Association has also offered bursaries to three candidates for a three-year course in Occupational Health and Safety and building skills.
“The skills development graduation and resulting employment is only the beginning of the many benefits and opportunities the iconic Richmond Park development will give its community, as well as the advantages it will offer businesses as an iconic, superbly located, top-quality commercial park with retail, light industrial, offices, logistics and warehousing development,” says Gerrit van den Berg, who heads Atterbury’s Western Cape operations. Over the next five to 10 years, during the construction period alone, Richmond Park’s development should create some 15,000 jobs.