CART South Africa

CART South Africa

Centre for Appropriate Rural Technology: from water management to healthy decision making

A small project with a great ambition

CART is located in the heart of Sicambeni, a rural village near to Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The village has a population of approximately 2,500 people, about 400 families. The Eastern Cape is South Africa’s poorest region and has for many years been a victim of massive skill loss due to the migration of workers to the larger cities in seek of work. Invariably these migrants find themselves living in already overcrowded townships compounding South Africa’s desperate slum culture.

Empowering the individuals

Dianne Van der Walt and Luke Boshier started CART as a pilot project in Sicambeni. The goal was to reduce the dependence of rural communities on factors beyond their control by creating dependence on the self by rebuilding the individual’s ability to satisfy basic human needs for food, shelter and healthy life.

Complex infrastructures requiring external intervention for set up and maintenance, failed to provide sustainable tools for people in rural areas of Africa, so the key is to tap into resources that are availables but underutilised, such as water, land and solar energy, and make them accessible to individuals. Training people to this form of self sustainability allows them to gain awareness of the self and for the environment in which they live; this also helps breaking the vicious cycle of victim mentality, top-down expectations and Government grant system strangling the development of south african rural communities. Still most young people will be attracted by the dream of living in larger cities, but at least they will leave their communities as empowered individuals with better skills and opportunities for creating their own livelihood.