Our integrated, place-based interventions unlock the true power of DGMT’s 10 opportunities to escape the inequality trap.
The Lesedi Solar Power Park, November 2022. Photo courtesy of Michael Khan.
At DGMT, we are committed to investing in community building and creating safe and nurturing environments for children’s positive development. Our place-based synergies approach focuses on implementing best practice programmes that address children’s needs at all developmental stages, supported by complementary community building initiatives. By concentrating our investments in specific neighbourhoods, we aim to serve a critical mass of children and families, taking the entire community across the threshold from dysfunction to supportive environments.
To ensure the success of our approach, we prioritise interconnectedness and coordination. By fostering unified efforts among our teams and promoting a cohesive experience for the communities we support, we aim to integrate our interventions into the fabric of each community. This allows our initiatives to complement and reinforce one another, maximising their impact and creating a holistic support system for children and families.
This approach aligns with the understanding that people don’t live their lives within neatly compartmentalised sectors like health, education, or infrastructure. As Robert Zoellick, the former President of the World Bank, eloquently stated in his address to world leaders, “People live in families and villages and communities and countries, where all the issues of everyday life merge. We need to connect the dots.”
The neighbourhoods in which people grow up and live can determine their development pathways. We want to change their trajectories for the better.
Our goal is to positively alter people’s life paths and improve their lives. In a country like South Africa, where historical racial segregation has contributed to deep spatial inequality, our work takes on even greater significance. Credible research conducted by esteemed Harvard economist Raj Chetty underscores how neighbourhoods influence the development of human capital. This evidence highlights the critical importance of employing place-based approaches in our work. Through our involvement in key community trusts, we aim to test, evaluate, and demonstrate the effectiveness of a comprehensive set of interventions concentrated in a single location, ultimately enhancing human development outcomes.
Our place-based synergies projects
Power projects: Lesedi and Letsatsi
DGMT supports two separate power projects, Lesedi Solar Park Trust and Letsatsi Solar Park Trust. Both are community development trusts with shareholding in solar power companies. Funding from those companies is secured for a 20-year period, with the possibility of extension. The projects thus provide an incredible opportunity to invest in a systemic and long-term intervention that could significantly tap into South Africa’s potential.
Each project has the mandate to invest in black people living within a 50km radius of the power plants that fund them. Both trusts are therefore strategically focused on how to maximise holistic human development outcomes in the communities where they are based.
The Lesedi Power Project is situated in the Northern Cape. The Lesedi Trust invests in three towns and four rural settlements close to the project: Postmasburg, Danielskuil, Groenwater, Lime Acres, Skeifontein, Beeshoek and Maranteng.
The Letsatsi Power Project is situated in the Free State. The Letsatsi Trust invests in three towns close to the project: Bloemfontein, Dealesville and Soutpan.