The Cape Access Programme is creating opportunities for growth in Leeu-Gamka
In 1879 travelling by rail from Cape Town to Kimberley would have taken you past Fraserburg Road. This was the closest railway station to Fraserburg, in the Karoo. A small town was established around the railway station where the Leeu and Gamka rivers met. A church and school opened in 1896 and soon after a hotel in 1898. In 1950, as the town grew, the station and the town had a name change and formally became known as Leeu-Gamka. "Leeu" and "Gamka" both mean "Lion", in Afrikaans and ǀXam respectively.
Opportunities for socio-economic growth for the population of roughly 2 727 people are few but with access to information and communication technologies (ICT), the possibilities have grown. Before 2015, most people in Leeu-Gamka did not have access to computers or the internet. Recognising this need the Cape Access programme opened the doors to the e-Centre on 29 June 2015.
The Cape Access Programme and the e-Centre give the local community easy access to computers and a range of ICT services. ICT is a term used to describe a range of technologies that include computers, cell phones and the internet, as well as the various services and applications associated with them.
The e-Centre has a steady flow of about 40 users a day and at least 800 people a month accessing available services.
Services at the e-Centre includes:
- Internet access (45 minutes a session).
- E-mail facilities.
- Help setting up e-mail accounts.
- Assistance with online job searches and applications.
- Computer assistance.
- Free printing (maximum of 10 pages a day).
- Assistance with typing of CVs, business plans and obituaries.
- Research information for school, college and university projects.
- e-Learner: entry-level accredited certificate.
- International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL): seven-month accredited course.
- Informal Computer training.
Visitors to the Leeu-Gamka e-Centre are using the facilities at the e-Centre for so much more than just checking emails and reading news. Matriculants view their results online, learners research projects, visitors do online job applications, they do e-filing and farmers even use the online services to get animal identification mark application forms.
The e-Centre has been fortunate enough to take part in the PAY (Premier’s Advancement of Youth) Project since 2016 and has had 4 interns become part of the e-Centre team up until now.
“Our centre is small and goes above and beyond for the community to make a significant difference in the lives of the people”, says e-Centre manager Harold Conradie.
Conradie remembers some e-Centre members whose lives have been changed. “Heloïse Botes, a PAY Project-intern from 2017 to 2018 applied to various tertiary institutions to further her studies. She was accepted at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth to complete a 4-year Social Work degree. She is currently in her second year and doing well”, said Conradie.
Another PAY Project intern Robyn Baadjies, who assisted at the e-Centre from 2018 to 2019, applied to further her studies and is now studying Human Relations (HR) at South Cape College in Beaufort West.
E-Centre staff assisted Moira Prins with typing her CV and to apply for a position at FARR, the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research. FARR is an NGO that work with teenage pregnancy and those affected by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).
Denzil Malgas and Daniel Mouton were assisted with online job applications. “Daniel Mouton had a tougher time than most when trying to find a job. He had an earlier criminal record and with help from the e-centre team was able to research the possibility and process of how to clear his name and scrap his criminal record. He was able to do just that. Mouton and Malgas applied at the Department of Transport and Public Works and both were successful”, added Conradie.
The e-centre even welcomes tourists from time to time.
Visit the e-Centre at Gousblom Street. The e-Centre is open from 7:30am until 5pm, Monday to Thursday and from 07:30am until 4:30pm on Fridays.
Contact the e-Centre
Tel: 023 521 2007