|European Commission Delegation Visit to Gijima KZN Programme
The Gijima KZN Programme received a visit from the European Commission Delegation (ECD) to South Africa in late October 2009. The team from the ECD comprised Head of Operations, Mr Gerry McGovern; Head of Finance and Contracting, Mr Wim Vandenbroucke; ECD Auditor Mr. Robert Langbauer; and the Project Officer for the Gijima KZN Programme, Mr Gerhard Pienaar.
The visit was structured around the verification of the implementation of four LCFI projects supported by the Programme,
On 27th October the team visited Project Gateway and the Corrida Shoes Thread of Hope Expansion projects in Pietermaritzburg and on the 28th October travelled to Ugu District visiting the Illovo Sugar project for the Small Growers Renaissance at Sezela and the Scientific Roets Establishment of a Broiler Chicken Production and a Processing Unit project at KwaXolo.
While the visits were structured around verifying that projects are being implemented in compliance with the contract, the visit of the heads of both divisions of the ECD was a unique experience and opportunity for the project beneficiaries, the Programme Management and the ECD senior officials to engage on a variety of operational and policy areas.
The ECD officials stated that “they had a very stimulating few days visiting LED activities on the ground in KZN” commenting further that, “it makes all the difference to shake the hands of the beneficiaries and to hear them relate their story”. The ECD noted that the interventions supported by the European Union are limited in scale but they do serve as a model that could be replicated. They expressed their pleasure that this replication was in fact happening and that the funds being leveraged against the EU grants were a very positive aspect of LED in KZN Province.
The ECD Team were impressed by the motivation and dynamism of the LED team, recognising that their efforts played a part in the development of Gijima KZN as a strong brand around the Province.
The Gijima KZN team await the formal report on the specific findings on each of the projects.