The Makhoba community were forcibly removed in 1964 from their land which the Makhoba community had inhabited for over a century. After a successful land claim, the Makhoba community’s land was handed back to them. The Makhoba community is situated in Swartberg, near Kokstad in Southern KwaZulu-Natal. The community experienced significant challenges due to the remoteness of the farm, which resulted in a lack of opportunities for education and job opportunities.
Springfontein Dairy Trust, one of the farming ventures of the Makhoba community, is the largest black-owned dairy suppliers to Nestlé, supplying Nestlé with an estimate of 4 million liters of milk to annually.
Due to the escalation of the youth unemployment rate, the private sector and government came up with a collaborative initiative called the YES (Youth Employment Service) Programme, which aims to assist the Youths of South Africa in developing skills and gaining work experience through employment placement. The implementation of the YES Programme is intended to provide South African youths with training and job opportunities.
In late 2018 Nestlé decided to become a YES sponsor and appointed Inyosi as its implementation partner. This saw the approval by Nestlé of 100 YES internships for the youth on the farm combined with significant training across multiple fronts related to agriculture, entrepreneurship, alien clearing, feed production, vegetable production, composting, animal care, fencing, security, construction, computers, first aid. In 2020 a further 102 youths were selected, inducted and were trained. Two of the youths were from two separate land restitution farms in the vicinity of the Makhoba community.
In 2019, the Makhoba Nestlé Inyosi Training center was built and officially opened, which would bring technology into the community by way of communication, computers and computer training, as well as provision of basic business skills, training courses and agriculture, consequently affording the students with an extensive range of practical and theoretical training.
On December 17th 2021, the third annual graduation ceremony for the Nestlé Makhoba Inyosi YES Program took place in the Makhoba Nestlé Inyosi Training center. The occasion commenced with a welcoming address by Evan Jones, the founder of Inyosi Empowerment. Following Even Jones was Chief Makhoba who delivered the introductory address. Russell Ellis-Clark followed up with a year review for 2021. Lastly Saint Tholang, the Nestlé executive responsible for corporate affairs addressed the attendees of the graduation ceremony.
Before closing the ceremony, the students of the Nestlé Makhoba Inyosi YES class of 2021 were awarded their certificates.. The much-contested top Female student for 2021 was awarded to Noluthando Mjobo, and the Top Male student award for 2021 was awarded to Lizwe Memele.
Through partnership – Nestlé, the YES initiative and Inyosi Empowerment aim to continue to make a significant difference amongst the youth and residents of the Makhoba community in the years to come.