Nine projects addressing sustainability issues including water management, healthcare, solar energy and transport have been awarded over half a million Rand as part of the #cocreateSA Fund. An initiative of the Dutch Consulate General, the fund is the legacy of its World Design Capital 2014 programme, Department of Design.
“With Department of Design we took a valuable step toward introducing South African and Dutch partners who can work together to find solutions for local challenges,” said Dutch Consul General, Bonnie Horbach. “With this fund we show our commitment to strengthening those relationships.”
Awarded projects include a partnership between the City of Cape Town and the Dutch Water Research Institute to implement water management programmes and improve service delivery. South African start-up EWIZZ and Dutch companies SANEC and SolarSwing were awarded for their programme to create an affordable, zero-emissions transport for students.
An initiative to develop solar lighting solutions for the communities of Witteklip, Shamrock and Fitches Corner in the Eastern Cape also received funds, as a collaboration between Africa Foundation for Sustainable Development and Dutch technology firm Solar Works.
Merging healthcare, design and technology, a co-create health initiative between the Cape Craft and Design Institute and Dutch company Philips aims to use design-thinking to build relationships between local health departments, healthcare workers and a range of social scientists and designers.
The Dutch World Design Capital programme, Department of Design was held over three weeks in July in Cape Town. It brought together South African and Dutch partners in design and sustainability for workshops, roundtables and keynote events. It was attended by locals, and community members including Premier Helen Zille and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
A commitment to strengthening the relationships that began at Department of Design, the #cocreateSA Fund was open to applicants from South African-based projects that involved collaboration with a Dutch partner and addressed issues covered during the programme.
Further strengthening the #cocreateSA legacy, Horbach has announced a second round of funding to be available from 2015. This brings the total investment from the Netherlands in #cocreateSA to more than R5m, making it the largest foreign contributor to World Design Capital 2014.
The Netherlands is South Africa’s third largest EU-trading partner and second largest investor in terms of stock after the United Kingdom. It is also the largest importer of goods from the Western Cape, worth R6.8bn and the third largest investor in that area totalling R2.7 billion.