About Us

We are a community development practice that collaborates with like-minded organisations & individuals to brand communities by creating and exposing opportunities through creative industries (musical and documentaries) around relevant social & environmental issues.

 

We empower community facilitators with our conceptual methodology to use local resources and stories as tools for awareness, advocacy, social development, economic empowerment and transformation.

 

Accordingly, we rally and mobilize like-minded community-based organizations and entities in vulnerable communities to transform embedded resources in the form of passion, talent, skills and qualifications as branding for the communities using the power of performing arts and documentaries. 

 

To disrupt, shift and move the world around us; our diverse projects utilise stage and film start a conversation, educate, empower, and produce action around human rights and environmental issues. Hence, the use of a multi-pronged simultaneous, parallel approach and scalable intervals:

  • Facilitated Community screenings
  • Branding Elements (Identity, Character, Slogan and Theme songs)
  • Professional Development
  • Symposia
  • Theatre
  • Broadcast Television
  • Social Media
  • Recognition Awards
  • Hybrid events
  • Entrepreneurship 
Community Social Investment

The STEP responds to unemployment rendering communities vulnerable to poverty and marginalised by an ailing economy that sheds jobs and incapable of absorbing jobseekers.  By and large, the latter resorts to social grants and submit to the erosion of morals evident among other things, child and teenage pregnancies, inadequate nutrition, and generally, homelessness.    

The STEP rallies communities to mobilise local expertise, synergise projects and synchronise programmes to alleviate poverty, reduce social inequality and shift local paradigms in order to utilise innate resources and enhance livelihoods following the dissipation of very vibrant economy galvanised by diverse industries.    

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The STEP stimulates communities to dare to dream alternative opportunities and solutions within and among them to restore social amenities and revive recreation facilities towards increasing entertainment value.  The intention is to reclaim youth talent and options to compete in different sporting and cultural disciplines against loitering, drunkenness and susceptibility to crime, in particular and waste in general.

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The STEP collaborates with local entities to reimagine their communities, retrieve the passion, skills and determination to reposition and impose an investment initiative rather than competing in conflict ridden identical micro enterprises like fruit and vegetable trading, convenient stores (otherwise better known as spaza shops), taverns, hair salons, and taxi businesses for the small size of the market. 

Instead, the campaign explores growth in under-developed sectors such as event management, tourism, manufacturing, professional services, and environmental preservation in the form of parks and beautification thus developing a horticulture sector that serves the community optimally.

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The STEP appraises strategic related professional services and peripheral enterprises with every programme through the build-up to showcasing the brand of the community, the monitoring and evaluation process culminating in recognition of contribution wherein each community retains visibility within herself and accordingly generate economic activities.  In the process, programmes by partnering organisations are kept alive by riding on the wavelength of the platform.     

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To this end, the STEP is currently working with community-based organisations and cultural formations to mobilise community participation in the following different municipalities of Ekurhuleni, Joburg, Tshwane, West Rand and Sedibeng as well as setting up relevant forums to lead and oversee branding initiatives: 

Community Branding Initiatives

Elements

Method

Period

Establish Identity

Whats App

Facebook

In Person

60 days

     

Character (Logo)

 

90days

   

Slogan (Motto)

 

90 days

   

Theme Song

Recorded

Whats App

Facebook

 

90 days

   

Stories

Research

Edition

Auditions

Rehearsal

120 days

 

Documentaries

Interviews

 Edition

Flighting 

180 days

Events

Transformation

Scalable

Sustainable

 

 

Meetings

Related projects

Training

Recognition

 

Enterprise Development

Note: The campaign resumed after reversion to alert level 3 of the Covid lockdown regulations

     

Critical Success Factors

Many fundamental cases militate for success in this approach taking from material and historical observations of community responses to pressing social challenges complimented by evidence of success in communities external to the vulnerable areas, here in South Africa and abroad as well as academic studies and statistics on employment, poverty and inequality.  

Cognisant of the developments and observations in the townships including television programmes resonant with the dominant culture against some of the official interventions failed to take root and consolidate among the communities; especially when considered to have been imposed and without consultation.  This is also indicative of the anger that fuelled the recent riots on local malls (Ekurhuleni and Soweto).  

Accordingly, the rapid prosses of artificial intelligence rendering various industries redundant with implications for the general economically active persons and thus rampant retrenchments increasing joblessness and poverty intrinsically widening the inequality gap. This pool is systematically placed in a state of limbo with no alternative programme other than seek and acquire similar vocational trajectory. 

Moreover, available recreation and entertainment amenities are mostly found in taverns prompting the liquor sector and subsectors carwash, beauty, shisanyama while others effect catering, mechanic, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and recycling receiving official support assumed to be services desired by the consumers.  Scalability and innovation are considered for the motor mechanic empowered automotive engineering skills to specialise on specific brands critical to the taxi industry among others.                  

Hence, we tabulate below the four (4) factors testifying to the success of this campaign  

Social Media

 

Facebook Township Hubs

What’s App Groups

Created by individuals out of specific desire for discourse in the townships continually lament on the state of social degradation and lack of economic prospects.  They also field a mix of alternate proposals and solutions.       

Government Township Economy Revitalisation Programme

 

Department of Small Business

Gauteng Province Government

 

National Government have prioritised township economic revival to encourage entrepreneurship and job creation advocating the revision of business historical barriers.   

 

The province is focused on creating sustainable jobs, reduce inequality and defeat poverty propelled through a comprehensive approach that contributes to the radical transformation of the economy.  This was followed up with a Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill to establish thriving SMMEs.  

Civil Society Initiatives

UJ

 

Business Day Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Dialogues

Centre for Development Enterprise

 

Webinar on township economy and poverty alleviation and alternate solutions

Webinar on Can a country dogged by political crisis poverty build a common vision and social cohesion?

 

Labour market reform is needed for inclusive growth; and SA’s Industrial Policy – Time to review and rethink

Corporate Social Investment

 

Bureau for Economic Research

Feedback from diverse stakeholders can be a source of ideas for new products, processes and markets, resulting in competitive advantages. Integrated CSR also impacts on the behaviour of employees and management, creating a more inclusive view of strategic intent in complex environments.

These arguments contend that companies may strengthen their legitimacy and enhance their reputation by engaging in CSR activities. Reputation, or brand equity, involves values such as trust, credibility, reliability, quality and consistency. Legitimacy is a general perception that the actions of an entity are appropriate within accepted social norms and values. Good CSR performance may allow companies to build their reputation and brand value, which are among the most valuable assets, while poor performance can damage brand value

 

The creative and cultural economy appeal on the general life of the vulnerable communities is undeniably an important contributor in their cultural persona because they interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology and hence gives impetus to rely on new ways of –

 

asserting cultural identity

generating wealth

marketing

delivering social services

facilitating business models

creating rapid growth in jobs and skills

This is aimed at springing numerous sectors among others:

Advertising

Architecture

Art and Antiques market

Crafts

Design

Designer fashion

Film

Interactive leisure software (video games)

Music, Poetry, Singer, Dancer

Hospitality

Performing Arts

Publishing software

Tourism

Television and Radio

Events Management

Beauty

Environmental Beautification 

Décor

 

Accordingly, the STEP explores a paradigm shift through an effective programme of community participation by segmenting and positioning projects to access products and services, and thus intensify quality of life, enhance social dignity and strive for an independent discourse. 

Other support structures

In order to remain informed, relevant and empowered on this rapidly changing world:

  • We rely on written and online material including webinars for developments in the non-profit sphere
  • We subscribe and align with other non-profit organisations, South African Arts and Culture Youth Forum, including research centres as well as various social media groups.
  • We are in the process of subscribing to the South African Institute of Fundraising  

Donations and Funding

Affiliation fees

Request for Interest

Cover charge

Cover charge

Donations

Raffles and competitions

Sponsorship and or Grants

Crowdfunding

Sales

News
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Our Goal

To empower the marginalized and vulnerable communities with capacity to engage in local and global conversations - personally and collectively - around important topics towards exploiting civil liberties yielding opportunities.  To this end, we are driven by community centred consensus to -  

  • adopt a local identity which takes into consideration critically chosen and selected colours
  • design and develop character represented by a logo
  • coin a slogan (motto) that inspires a community in different challenges at different times
  • compose a theme song towards the aspirations of the community cognisant of the local environment
  • collect, write and perform local stories on local (regional, municipality and provincial) stages, and converted into documentaries for posterity
  • source local resources to promote local economic empowerment with the intention to alleviate poverty, enhance livelihoods and thus reduce the inequality gap 

 

Objectives

  • Encourage community participation to be aware and appreciate local resources
  • Assist communities elect competent forums to enable ownership for authentic choices and decisions
  • Enable communities to recognise their collective identity and character whence they draw inspiration 
  • Build and position a brand equity within a community
  • Promote an environmentally sensitive community 
  • Inculcate a paradigm to grow audiences and consumers for related products and services
  • Create and facilitate entrepreneurial opportunities able to offer employment and eliminate social ills