Bridging The Gap Between Education And Socio-Economic Development

Name: Mboneleli Gqirana

Province: Western Province

Mboneleli Gqirana from Delft in the Western Cape describes himself as a social entrepreneur interested in the development of youth through educational activities linked to socio-economic development opportunities.

What are you championing in your community?

I am championing the development of reading clubs in libraries and schools. These serve as a vehicle for the greater development agenda of the youth. We then extend the reading clubs to tutoring sessions, extra-curricular activities and also link it to personal development opportunities.

How are you driving change in your community?

I am driving change in my community by bringing together diverse groups of people for the common good. In a multi-racial area like Delft, this is not easy. However, if we are to attain the goals of a just and developing society, we need to ensure greater collaboration from stakeholders who would not normally work with each other.

How has ACTIVATE! and the network supported you in driving change?

I joined the ACTIVATE! network in 2015. To this day, I still collaborate on projects and keep in contact with Activators who share the same interests as me. I do however feel the network can gain a lot by ensuring Activators from different provinces work together more. We need to investigate the current structures (reps, etc.) to ensure they’re effective and serve the interests of the greater network.

The Bus Journey

Why have you decided to be part of the Bus Journey?

I have decided to be part of the bus journey to hear from diverse voices about the situation in which we find ourselves as a country. Most importantly, I’m very interested in hearing about ideas on solutions to get ourselves out of this challenging period. Partnerships are also very important, so I’m eager to expand the network in which I operate in.

What are you hoping to take out of the Bus Journey?

To expand on collaborative opportunities; get a hold of where the country is; be inspired by other people’s work and also contribute to the discourse on how best the country can move forward by workers from different areas of expertise.

What are you most looking forward to on the Bus Journey?

I am most looking forward to solution-oriented discussions on the various issues that we face as communities and as a country. I hope there will be a lot of information sharing. It’s also crucial that the momentum from the Bus Journey is carried forward to an action-oriented program of action by the participants, whether individually or as a collective.

In an ideal world, who would you like to engage in conversation with on The Bus Journey and why?

I’d like to engage with Lindiwe Sisulu. She is interesting to me because she has served in Parliament and yet seems to have a lot of experience about how communities can develop. She has a lot of information about mechanisms we can use to fight for our rights and access opportunities.

What are your plans for next year?                                                    

Next year, I will continue my studies into looking at how commercial models can benefit non-profit causes in situations unlike the traditional corporate social investment environment currently employed by many corporations.

I’m really interested in how organisations can achieve self-sustainability. For this, I continue to use the book clubs we’ve built as a vehicle.

How will you be involving the network in your plans?

I stay in touch with the office about my work, through Lezerine Mashaba. I’m also close to finalising partnerships with the Learners Movement of South Africa (LEMOSA) which is headed by Asavela Peko, an Activator.

I also regularly attend and support events by Activators like an event hosted by Thembinkosi Matika, which centre around personal development and understanding the business trajectory of South Africa.

Next year, I also hope to extend my work to other provinces with Activators like German Jacobs (North West) who has already agreed to work with me on various projects.


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