Sustainable Rural Development in the Eastern Cape (SURUDEC) Programme
SURUDEC is a joint programme of the European Union and Republic of South Africa. The Contracting Authority is the Eastern Cape Office of the Premier (OTP) and the Implementing Agent is Promoting Rural and Urban Livelihoods (Ruliv), based in East London.
SURUDEC aims to reduce poverty in the province by providing grant funding to support the design and implementation of integrated community-driven development plans (ICDPs). These are plans of action that indicate ways in which the economic situation of a community will be improved and how its asset base will grow over time. These plans would inform district and local government IDPs, and importantly, over time and as resources become available, elements of each community plan would be implemented, either directly from community resources, or in combination with funds from partners, donors or Government.
The plans and the implementation of prioritised activities are vital and necessary links within the National Government’s decentralisation and rural development policies. Thus, SURUDEC is about piloting a conceptual framework and generating pertinent information that will inform best practices for the up-scaling and roll-out of ICDPs.
SURUDEC funds activities which build social capital and livelihood assets in communities. The programme is uniquely piloting a partnership model (between Legal Entity and community partners) and an asset-based approach. It also requires a commitment to action research which is embedded in a pilot programme.
SURUDEC offers two funding streams: the Building Communities Fund (BCF) and the Fast Track Delivery Fund (FTDF).
Cata residents at a business skills training workshop as part of the Cata Forest Ecotourism Development Initiative in partnership with Birdlife SA.
Call 1 (Building Communities Fund)
The first call applied to communities with initiative and vision but who did not yet have a plan in place and were not formally organised. The aim of the grant under the first call is to assist communities in planning an intervention (or series of interventions) which can build social networks and strengthen social capital.
Call 2 (Fast Track Delivery Fund)
The second call applied to communities that have plans, projects and some partnerships in place, and who are ready to implement their development plans. The main intention behind the Fast Track Delivery Fund (FTDF) is to facilitate the transformation of existing community plans into more integrated development plans and implement aspects of these plans so as to bring community assets into productive use.
Nineteen projects have been awarded grants comprising nine (9) Call 1 projects with a value of ZAR 8,800,390 and 10 Call 2 projects with a value of ZAR 46,559,759. As illustrated in the map below, the projects span the geographical range of the province, with each district represented by at least one project. The projects range in focus from building the capacity of farm workers to the development of eco-tourism trails.
What is SURUDEC attempting to test?
- Whether communities are capable of developing quality, inclusive ICDPs with support from grantees
- Whether social capital has been developed within the grantee communities.
- Whether communities are capable of influencing IDP processes and plans and/ or other funding sources as a result of their ICDPs and/ or their new capacities.
- Whether ICDPs actually result in better IDPs and/or more resources for the community.
- Whether SURUDEC-supported communities have a better understanding of their asset base and whether they have been able to grow and manage those assets.
- Whether the grant model is an appropriate funding tool that grantees can comply with.
- Whether SURUDEC-supported communities have different perceptions towards their role in the development process.
- Whether community institutions can be developed and lobby on behalf of the community.
- Whether the SURUDEC model (or elements of it) can be scaled up and replicated.
- Whether grantee communities have benefited as a result of their involvement with SURUDEC.
SURUDEC in a nutshell
- SURUDEC is a key rural development programme that aims to contribute to the objective of reducing poverty in the Eastern Cape by 2014.
- SURUDEC is targeted at marginalised rural communities in the Eastern Cape and seeks to strengthen the capacity of these communities to uplift them out of poverty through supporting them to undertake appropriate local developmental initiative.
- SURUDEC seeks to promote developmental partnerships between rural communities and other partners, such as NGOs, private companies, social entrepreneurs and government.
- SURUDEC offers grant funds on a competitive basis to the most promising proposals for developing communities through strengthening their asset base and forging linkages with partners.