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Drakenstein Municipality leads the way assisting craft producers to develop product of place

Tuesday, 20 March 2018   (0 Comments)
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The CDI was recently appointed to conduct skills training for 20 craft producers who were selected by Drakenstein Municipality in partnership with the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association (DLTA). This formed part of an initiative to support local economic development and tourism.

In 2014, Drakenstein Municipality hosted a “Women in Arts and Crafts” workshop as part of its Women’s Month celebrations where local, aspiring female craft producers were introduced to the craft and design sector through the work that CDI was doing throughout South Africa. This saw the start of an ongoing relationship between CDI and Drakenstein Municipality which was recently formalised through the appointment of CDI to assist the Municipality in conducting skills training for the 20 craft producers.

The participants were selected as part of the Drakenstein Arts and Crafts Route, a tourism product development initiative which aims to showcase Drakenstein’s beautiful art and craft.


Drakenstein Municipality is the largest local municipality in the Western Cape outside the City of Cape Town and is located within the heart of the Cape Winelands District Municipality. The first phase of the project included the development of skills through a four-day training programme at the CDI inclusive of creativity and ‘Product of Place’ workshops.

The goal was to encourage participants to produce market and location-relevant samples of potential products for the Drakenstein area. Furthermore, discussions are ongoing to develop a business and product training schedule for additional craft producers in the Drakenstein area over a three-year period to further support local economic development and tourism.


The CDI in 2017 ran a similar ‘Product of Place’ project for the Robben Island Museum which is planning to develop a Community Beneficiation Craft Development Centre that will sell souvenirs and memorabilia made from materials that originate from the island and are inspired by its history. As part of the project, the CDI trained 16 potential craft producers who were selected by the museum.

Winston Richards, Programme Manager: Business Development at the CDI, said there existed great potential.


“We are emphasising the development of market-relevant products that tell profound stories. We understand the challenges that the craft and design sector face, particularly in terms of those producers that live outside the main economic hubs of our cities. We are proud to be working with Drakenstein Municipality and the DLTA, and appreciate the opportunity to help these producers to develop their skills and products.”


Lauren Waring, Executive Director: Planning and Development at Drakenstein Municipality, said: “Through this initiative, Drakenstein demonstrates its commitment to grow the tourism and creative sectors in the area, and to ensure that we position artisans and craft producers to play a central role in the tourism sector value chain.”


Lara Nieuwenhuis, who is managing the project for the Municipality, said that more than the skills and product development taking place, the project was also enabling a mentorship network to take shape.

“We have people at different skills levels, and bringing these creative people together in this workshop has created dialogue and a sharing of expertise on a peer-to-peer level. It was an opportunity to work on their own products but also feed off each other’s process – giving rise to collaborative learning. We find that people get more out of the learning opportunity by working in groups.

“It is also opening up opportunities for collaborative work. For example – one of the participants that does illustration work made an illustration for one of the other participants to assist them with their packaging design – so we have the trade of different design skills to help each other develop better products.

“Ultimately, we want to get people to a point where they have good products, and are market ready and able to sell. This project will help people to get inspiration from their personal stories and the uniqueness of the Drakenstein area, to develop the quality of products, and to improve their market readiness.”

As they are all new to the CDI, and were visiting for the first time, all the participants also received an overview of the CDI facilities available and were registered on the national database so that they can continue developing their skills and products with CDI in the future.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say about the experience:

“I am thankful for the opportunity to be a participant in this workshop   ̶   I thank Drakenstein Municipality and the CDI for the opportunity to learn about things we didn’t know. I gained knowledge, and I will be able to grow my business, and when there’s another workshop I would like to come again.”  ̶   Yolisa Fuma


“It was really nice being here and I liked the approach to teaching. Because I have learned so much, I would love to participate again if they could do another workshop.”  ̶   Zoliswa Gcelu

“It was a wonderful few days at the CDI; the facilitators were so enthusiastic and it inspired us. Thank you very, very much.”
  ̶   Dorothy de Wet

“The workshop was very good for me. I was very inspired and it helped me to see the products that I make in a better light. I also enjoyed the workshop because I gained new knowledge, and would like to attend more workshops in the future. It was a wonderful opportunity to be part of.”   ̶   Johnathan Hoffman

“I learnt a lot, gained experience and got new ideas. I learnt how to develop new ideas and to diversify what I create.”
  ̶   Joyce Topi


“The workshop for me was very meaningful. What I learnt here at the CDI in a short time; made me realise how much more I can learn. I would encourage any creative to go to the CDI, because the knowledge you will gain is invaluable.”   ̶   Charles Small

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