Skills Development And Training Programme


The Thembalethu Development Skills Development and Training Programme offers capacity building and training for empowering individuals and communities. Remittances of South African mineworkers have a significant impact on the economic development of labour-sending areas. A single company retrenching can directly affect more than 3 000 mineworkers and more than 15 000 dependents. Employment in the mining industry is shrinking, and those that lose their jobs need to find alternative means of survival for themselves and their families. It is for this reason that Thembalethu Development created a Skills Development and Training Programme, that provides “alternative to mining” livelihood skills to mineworkers and their dependents.
This programme has been extended to areas beyond mining communities and labour-sending areas. Thembalethu Development offers accredited skills programmes to project participants and unemployed people. The organization has been accredited by the Construction, Transport and Agriculture Education and Training Authorities (SETA’s) to offer a range of skills development courses including Occupational Health and Safety, Community House Building, Plumbing, Painting and others.



  • We conduct a skills audit to ascertain the readiness and acceptability of an intervention by the target beneficiaries and stakeholders. This audit also establishes the available and needed skills of the target beneficiaries;
  • We provide advice to beneficiaries on their intended Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) and locally available opportunities;
  • Where resources permit, we provide seed funding to help the beneficiaries start their intended SMMEs; and
  • We mentor the beneficiaries in the development processes of their SMMEs.
  • Current and past experiences
  • We are assisting the Vaal Reefs Disaster Trust (VRDT) with projects to provide economic and livelihood support to the dependents of the miners who perished in a fatal mining disaster at Vaal Reefs, Shaft 2 mine, North West Province on 10th May 1995. The Trust’s dependents for this project are from Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa and they have started enterprises such as poultry farming, chicken egg production, motor spare parts, cellphone airtime and electricity vending, hair salon, fashion design and cattle farming.
  • We provided livelihood skills such as poultry production, electrical wiring, plumbing to 1 600 retrenched or medically-boarded ex-mineworkers and their proxies in mineworker-sending areas of Nkangala, OR Tambo, Ukhahlamba and Alfred Nzo district municipalities of South Africa’s under the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA); and
  • We provided non-mining skills and assisted 2 500 Harmony Gold retrenched mineworkers to start SMMEs of their choice in 2006.

Vaal Reefs Disaster Trust Project: Skills Development and Training