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It takes a village

Bonnievale comes together to create 'zero-dropout school'

Article image

Linda van Tilburg

05 December 2020


Phefumlela Bam

Media article

Towns Action Network

South Africa

The official dropout rate at South African schools is between 37% and 42%. This is according to figures released in October this year by the Department of Basic Education. In many communities, this rate is much higher. Dropout rates used to be very high in Bonnievale, a small Boland community nestled between the beautiful winelands and mountains of the Western Cape. The community is plagued by alcohol-fuelled violence, broken homes, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies and few opportunities. But the community, local business people and the Western Cape Education Department have been ‘willing to explore blue waters’ and banded together to change this. Out of this they built a new school, called the Jakes Gerwel Entrepreneurial School. Philip Jonker, a wine farmer and the owner of Weltevrede Wines, who is one of the initiators of the project told BizNews how this three-stranded partnership came together to weave a cord that is hoping to pull every child in the area out of poverty and give them a future. – Linda Van Tilburg


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Built environment

Community development

Community mobilization




Small Towns

South Africa

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