The Village News article
Hermanus Siyakha was initiated by a letter which was published in The Village News soon after the unrest in Hermanus in the first half of 2018. The letter acknowledged the legitimate demands for land and housing, but pointed out that without the provision of jobs, the situation of the poor in the region would hardly be improved.
Individuals responded to the invitation to attend a public meeting in June 2018 and it was decided to investigate the feasibility of bridge building between the affluent and poor communities of Hermanus and how best to achieve this. Alleviating poverty and job creation were identified as the most pressing issues. In order to raise the funds necessary to achieve this objective it was decided to create a crowd-funding website, the funds raised would be disbursed to small business owners by way of interest-free loans to enable them to expand existing business enterprises. Loans would also be made to start-up business ventures that could demonstrate a reasonable chance of success and create employment.
An interim committee was formed in July 2018 and after some investigation it was decided to adopt the Kiva model of crowd-funding since it was clear, simple and could be implemented on a smaller scale locally.
In November 2018 five pilot projects were identified and small loans were made available to these enterprises. This enabled the operating and administrative systems to be tested.
In March 2019 the Hermanus Siyakha website was officially launched and the public was invited to join hands in this exciting and unique initiative within our community by making themselves available to assist in a mentoring or administrative capacity, or by making a financial contribution to the project of their choice as displayed on the website.