Knowledge Partnership:

Vanwyksdorp Development Institute (VDI)

Vanwyksdorp Development Institute Education Community


Vanwyksdorp and the wider GCBR domain


2018 – 2021


Vanwyksdorp Development Institute, DOB Ecology

Total number of courses held

Number of different course types held

Total number of training trainees

Total number of training person days

Project Objective

To co-establish the foundation for a field training and resource centre that will increase the availability of eco-skilled human capital, provide information outreach, and gain leverage from GCBR’s projects.

The Vanwyksdorp Development Institute (VDI) is a not-for-profit company aimed at the socio-economic upliftment of poor rural communities, primarily in Vanwyksdorp and the surrounding Klein Karoo. The means to achieve the vision and mission is the establishment of a learning campus that provides the environment and opportunity to learn skills and incubate entrepreneurial activities.

In the VDI, the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) found a partner to be its preferred training institution and centre for knowledge dissemination.

The GCBR’s practice-driven learning approach calls for using knowledge – both new and existing – to increase human capital that can repair and rebuild damaged ecosystems, improve livelihood opportunities, and propagate regenerative land-use practices.

This project aims to create a node and strategic institutional home for developing the new skills, new attitudes, new social and human capital that are so badly needed.

Project Implementation

Courses are offered intermittently throughout the year, both at the campus in Vanwyksdorp and other locations within the GCBR as required. Course content is focused on the green economy – skills that will help individuals become entrepreneurs or employees in local sustainable industries.

The courses vary in duration and attendance capacity.

Courses to date include Invasive Alien Plant eradication; Combating soil erosion; Entrepreneurship; Junior Supervisor/Management; Health and Safety; Landscaping, Snake Awareness and snake relocation, Compost Making Course and First Aid.

Activities and deliverables:

  • Deliver practical skills development courses to participants from underprivileged communities
  • Generate the information required to define an economically viable portfolio of training and knowledge extension associated with GCBR’s programme
  • Co-establish a multifunctional training facility and knowledge bank in Vanwyksdorp