On the western slopes of the Magaliesberg, just outside Rustenburg is the Tlholego Eco-village and Learning Centre. The centre has been at it for over 25 years, and was the first learning centre in South Africa to offer training in Permaculture and ecologically sound land management practices.
Driving up to the learning centre eco-management techniques such as water harvesting contours and swales on either side of the driveway are immediately apparent.
“Tlholego’s layout and architecture provides a unique space for dialogue and reflection. Whereas most other attempts at so-called “African design” either lack authenticity and/or are just for the effect, Tlholego is what it is without having to try too hard. The sense of connectedness to its local context via the School and the local community, and the continuity it achieves to an ancient past, makes for a special place that needs to be protected and preserved.”
Prof. Mark Swilling, Sustainability Institute
A sustainable community that awakens possibility through living, learning, working and creating wealth.
Beautiful Tlholego Ecovillage – situated on 150 ha of land near Rustenburg in the Northwest Province of South Africa – awakens possibility, living up to its Setswana name meaning ‘creation from nature’. It enables those who make this rural farm outside Rustenburg their home, to live their dreams and values in tune with the natural environment. One of these is living, learning and working in community, because economic, social and environmental needs can be more effectively met through both individual and collective engagement.
Tlholego awakens possibilities for everyone – whether you live, work and earn here, volunteer, overnight, learn something new, enjoy organic fresh produce, experience something life changing or simply connect with her people.
Awakening possibility means …
• We respect all people and paths, being open to learn, grow and support each other through our similarities and differences.
• When we feel challenged we call on our humour because we know growth is often not easy.
• We stand tall in who we are, allowing our natural possibility to flow.
• We live in tune with nature, celebrating and finding inspiration in her intelligence.
• We co-create, earning livelihoods and security for our families as part of our common vision.
Our overall objective is to promote an integrated approach to sustainable development in South Africa guided by local needs, national, integrated and sustainable rural development strategies, and government policies on climate change, sustainable agriculture and the UN Millennium Development Goals.
By investing in rural communities to take a leading role in enterprise and community development, we are building the foundations for a healthier future. Tlholego’s focus on livelihoods based on sustainable construction, organic farming and enterprise rooted in community development helps create solutions to the challenges of sustainability and development in South Africa.