Purpose built skills training centre for Greenville Garden City

Fisantekraal Centre for Development, a skills training facility that helps unemployed people to find jobs in a variety of sectors, has expanded its operations to a brand-new R4.2 million purpose-designed building in Greenville Garden City near Durbanville.

The building is integral to the fundamental infrastructure being provided by Garden Cities in Greenville, the suburb that was launched in 2016 to offer homes to families across a broad spectrum of economic needs. The Centre for Development is an example of the services and facilities such as retail outlets, schools, clinic sites and sporting opportunities traditionally provided in the development of Garden Cities suburbs.

The function of the Centre for Development, which has been operating from premises in Durbanville for nearly 12 years, is to train unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 35, using holistic programmes that enable them to become economically active. Now, augmented by the opening of the Greenville premises, it aims to train up to 550 people annually.

Garden Cities Group CEO, John Matthews, says that the skills development centre is consistent with his company’s focus on the promotion of education, as well as its participation in joint ventures to the benefit of the residents. The Centre for Development’s new 215 square metre building in Silvertree Street, Greenville, was designed and built by Garden Cities in consultation with the professionals who run the skills centre, to meet the needs of the training programmes.

The centre has 13 full-time staff members, including five company-sponsored internships for its graduates. 

Jane Gelderman, who heads up the Fisantekraal Centre for Development, said the Greenville facility made it increasingly accessible to the people for whom it was intended, from all over the Peninsula.  “People come here to be taught enterprise development and trading among the skills that include baking and sewing for profit, maintenance (carpentry, plumbing), beauty and nails, housekeeping, childcare and frail care. We also offer an office basics course.”

The centre has an initial five-year lease agreement with Garden Cities and she says that the Greenville collaboration, which was two years in the planning, is a “dream come true for us, we are thrilled’. 

Cutting the ribbon on the new building are from left: Neels Hubinger, FCD Chairman; Jane Gelderman, FCD CEO, Thembi Sithole, Garden Cities Greenville Project Manager, and Linda Oosthuizen FCD Board Secretary.
Karen Milan-Shadrack, CFO of Garden Cities speaks at the opening of the Centre for Development
Thembi Sithole, Garden Cities Greenville Project Manager, officially hands over the keys of the Centre for Development building to Neels Hubinger, Chairman of the Fisantekraal Centre for development in Greenville.
The new building and campus at Greenville for the Fisantekraal Centre for Development has been a concerted effort involving professionals from both the centre and Garden Cities who created the building for the specific use of the FCD – Pictured here at the opening are most of the people involved in the process. From left: Louis Meiring (FCD Board Treasurer); Desmond Barry (FCD Board Member); Shaheem Kader,  (Pinelands Development Company PDC); Neels Hubinger (FCD Board Chairman); Dave Carstens (PDC); Karen Milan-Shadrack (Garden Cities CFO); Linda Oosthuizen (FCD Board Secretary and Founding member); Jane Gelderman (FCD CEO); Danielle Cronje (Garden Cities Environmental Officer); Thembi Sithole, Project Manager, Garden Cities Greenville); Beyers van der Merwe (FCD Board Member); Glynnis Idas (FCD Board Member); Victor Johnstone (Architect); Renier Smith (Garden Cities Group Manager Engineering and Planning);  Danielle Jones (FCD Vice Chair)
Interiors of the Centre for Development
Garden Cities Group Manager Engineering and Planning, Renier Smith and Lance Turner, Director of Won Life School in Fisantekraal at the opening of the FCD building in Greenville.