Building Partnerships & Strengthening Organisations

In order for the Hout Bay Partnership to be effective, the organisation has to tackle real issues in an informed way.

Towards Uhuru conducted baseline economic research for the Hout Bay Partnership to assist them in making informed decision and formulate targeted economic programmes. Towards Uhuru achieved this by interviewing 249 business owners, from informal businesses to powerful corporates, in order to identify the fundamental value chains that constitute the local economy. A selection of key variables were studied as part of this research, including business sophistication levels, individual entrepreneurship challenges, business structure, employment, supply chains, willingness and ability to procure locally, market selection and market viability. These variables were used to build a richer understanding of each of the seven value chains identified. This yielded a depth of understanding of the key challenges and opportunities within each of these value chains in order to unlock their full potential.

Towards Uhuru presented the Hout Bay Partnership with these conclusions as well as a full set of recommendations – general recommendations as well as recommendations specific to each value chain, from the most simple to more complex integrated solutions to ensuring a higher degree of inclusion, in these value chains and in the Hout Bay economy in general.[/accordian]

Economic Development Partnership (EDP) Establishment and Management
Towards Uhuru has project managed the establishment and stabilisation of the EDP from the conceptual phase to its ability to exist as a functional and relevant organisation, through various phases including:

January to September 2011
The investigation phase of extensive stakeholder consultation in the development of a proposition to the Provincial Government, Minister of Economic Development and the Premier.
September 2011 to April 2012
The establishment phase of the institution, setting up of a NPC (not for profit company with members), establishment of a steering committee, co-ordination of a technical task team that met weekly to ensure that many of the key economic development role players in the Western Cape were on board and involved in the EDP’s establishment.
April to December 2012
The Launch and Implementation Phase during which the Board was recruited, selected and appointed as well as the first staff members of the EDP. Besides this, key catalytic programmes were conceptualised and implemented, such as local partnerships in the Southern Cape and West Coast for example and FARE, a partnership to mediate the farmer and farm worker disputes.
January 2013 to April 2014
During this phase, Yumnaa Firfirey functioned largely as Chief Operations Officer, coordinating everything from Staff Management and Recruitment, Financial Management, Office Relocation as well Strategy and Programme Co-ordinator, with all staff reporting to her and being performance evaluated by her. She also facilitated the strategic planning processes.
May 2014 to January 2015
Under the board’s instruction, the organisation was asked to formalise the organisational structure as opposed to retaining an agile form, as initially proposed. This meant that an organogram was developed comprising of permanent staff. This concluded Towards Uhuru’s relationship with the EDP at the end of 2014. Before that point, Towards Uhuru managed specific programmes – such as the partnership with the City of Cape Town, the South Cape Partnership and Improving the Efficiency of Economic Development within Local Government – while a full-time COO was appointed.

Organisation Turnaround: Provincial Development Council (PDC)
The Western Cape Provincial Development Council (PDC) – a provincial version of Nedlac ( – was a provincial public entity, with a mandate to co- ordinate, facilitate and initiate consensus amongst stakeholders on provincial, regional and local development planning, policy objectives and development strategies.

Towards Uhuru was asked by the then-Premier, Lynne Brown, to head up the PDC and re-energise the organisation over four critical months until a permanent CEO could be appointed. During this period, Towards Uhuru was expected to facilitate the following key events, while also setting systems in place for the effective running of the organisation once the new CEO assumed duty:

  • The effective staging of The Annual Mini Summit (Annual General Meeting of all social partner constituencies), including reporting on the 2007/2008 financial year.
  • Regular monthly Management Committee Meetings (with selected Board members)
  • Hosting of two Quarterly Council Meetings (after an 18 month period of no Council meetings)
  • The recruitment and appointment of the new CEO
  • The Inception of the Audit Committee, including the assessment of mechanisms (a 
procurement policy amongst others) that would ensure PFMA compliance and 
corporate governance.
  • The Preparation of the Annual Report, including the presentation of the Annual 
Financial Statements and the finalisation of the 
Performance Report.
  • Approval of the New Staffing Policy and Initiation of the HR Plan, including 
troubleshooting current systems that are not conducive to the efficiency and good corporate governance of the institution and the necessary salary adjustments to create alignment with the public service.
  • The Ratification and Launch of two key strategies agreed to by the social partners.
  • The Filling of Key Vacancies
  • Overseeing the direction and implementation of a number of new programmes

Tourism Business Forum
In heading up the team tasked with the tourism entrepreneurship, Yumnaa Firfirey encouraged collective strategic planning of the Tourism Business Forum (TBF).

Through the partnership of the TBF, private sector, government and agencies set up by government worked together, with shared programmes and resources to achieve a common vision. The TBF consolidated all fragmented tourism business development efforts and developed a tiered approach to tourism business support. This entails a comprehensive tiered support system for entrepreneurs at each stage of business development. Together with the TBF, interventions and programmes for tourism businesses at each of these levels were developed to enable them to progress from one tier to the next and to support them in their growth and success. This has been achieved through capacity building, mentorship, financial support and market access programmes.

Services Offered

Facilitating Research & Strategy Development

Inspiring Corporate Citizenship

Nurturing Inclusive Economies

Strengthening Environmental Resilience

Building Partnerships