A crash course in changing the world.
The Sustainability Institute is found on a plot located a short distance from the renowned Spier Wine Estate. It is led by Eve Annecke, one of the Lynedoch Development’s co-founders, who has a Masters in Management Learning from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom and has spent many years working in Organisational Learning. She founded the Sustainability Institute with the Programme Coordinator and Academic Director, Professor Mark Swilling, who is a rated researcher with the National Research Foundation.
The idea behind the Sustainability Institute is partly to introduce young students who are doing university degrees to look at ways of sustaining our existence. They take a course at the Institute where they can do
a Masters degree in Sustainable Development, Planning and Management or just a module of this degree. It also focuses on creating a South Africa which is sustainable and free of unnecessary poverty.
The Institute has several different projects, some of which it has initiated, some of which it has sustained and some of which it has revived. A list of their undertakings follows:
· Preschool accommodating 35 children that focuses on Sustainability
· Government Primary School for about 500 children (mainly from farming families) which teaches syllabus work while also focusing on ecology and non-violence
· Ecological renovation of an old steel-framed hall that is now used by a variety of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs): Lynedoch Primary School, AGAMA renewable energy, USIKO (wilderness therapy with young teenage men at risk), Groundwater Africa, the Sustainability Institute and Dimpo di Kopane (performing arts) – this building has received awards for architecture and international best practice in sustainable building
· A sustainable, solar powered guest house that is a restored historical building
· Mixed income, environmentally-friendly housing development for 38 houses
· On-site waste treatment through a biolytic filter and integrated wetland system
· Re-use of water, solar water heating, sustainable buildings and indigenous planting.
· Land reformation through the set up of a partnership between Spier Estate and the Sustainability Institute for a 10ha organic farm managed by Eric Swarts, a local farmer
The Sustainability Institute is a fantastic initiative in our area, and an example that we will hopefully see followed – how are we going to study sustainability and “going green” if there’s no-one to teach it?