Thank you for your interest in Tarka Development Group. We’re going to explain a little about where we come from, what we do, what we don’t do, who we are and where you fit in.

Where we come from

Tarka Development Group was formed following an Asset-Based Community-Driven Development Workshop in April 2014 presented by Mmapula Community Development, funded by the Simanye Trust and pioneered by a vision of development for Tarkastad by the Tarka Action Group.

What we do

Our primary objective is the sustainable development of Tarkastad. As a result, our mission is a progressively thriving, unified Tarkastad.

To this purpose, we apply the Millennium Development Goals, which aims to reach the following goals by 2015, to a local context:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Global partnership for development

We furthermore subscribe to the Rio +20 proposed Sustainable Development Goals which aim to reach the following goals by 2030:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

These points broadly align with the National Development Plan of South Africa put forward by the National Planning Commission in 2012, the goals of which are also set to be reached by 2030.

As an organisation, we have identified Agriculture and Tourism as particularly enabling industries in reaching these goals, as well as our primary objective, within a local context, and therefore aim to assign the majority of our resources to these areas.

So far, we have been instrumental in establishing a Local Tourism Office for the Tsolwana Local Municipality region, and are working on establishing a Local Business Chamber for the same region in partnership with the Tsolwana Local Municipality and Chris Hani District Municipality.

What we don’t do

Our primary objective is to be as inclusive as possible while achieving the sustainable development of Tarkastad.

With this in mind, Tarka Development Group adheres to the Bill of Rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa, in particular Section 9 Paragraph 3 which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

That said, Tarka Development Group reserves the right to act against any person or organisation where such a person or organisation is actively or passively detrimental to the sustainable development of Tarkastad, it being understood that "sustainable" encompasses all sub-divisions of the broader terms "social", "environmental" and "economic", and "development" means "positive growth" and/or "positive progress".

In particular, Tarka Development Group is not a religious organisation, nor a party-political organisation. Where we engage with religious organisations, it is for strategic partnership on particular matters, and where we engage political issues, such as security, regulation, budgeting, management of public affairs, public policy, etc., these issues are globally relevant for the betterment of the Tarkastad community as a whole.

We do not aim to replace or take over any other existing organisations or associations in our community, but rather to assist, support, unite, and grow such organisations wherever possible.

As a result, our values are:

  • Internal and external integrity (Being trustworthy)
  • Honour (Respect for ourselves and others)
  • Servanthood (To serve our community)
  • Optimism (About ourselves and our community)
  • Partnering (Through business / skills / interest / etc.)

Who we are

Tarka Development Group functions as an association at present, while it considers the best formal business entity/entities to register as.

The group has two components:

  • Power Circle – a group of 12 elected members who acts as a representative executive group
  • Tarka Development Group – the Power Circle as well as all other members

Membership is currently unofficial, voluntary, free and open to any resident of Tarkastad, including Ivanlew and Zola.

We communicate with our members through various channels:

  • Website –
  • e-Mail
  • e-Mail subscription – available through
  • Facebook page –
  • Twitter page –
  • Whatsapp – informal group
  • SMS subscriptions are being considered, since some members do not have access to other channels, however this would require an investment to set up and maintain which is not available at present

The Power Circle consists of:

  • Garvin Willemse (Chairperson)
  • Jenny van Heerden (Treasurer)
  • David Fourie (Secretary)
  • Nonkululeko Bandla
  • Yolanda Cimilanga
  • Angela Hattingh
  • Ngamana Mabuto
  • Joey Mariema
  • Lindiwe McEwan
  • Lindiwe Mendu
  • Vuyokazi Msizi
  • Kitty Philips

Where do you fit in?

Through our endeavours, we have learned that communication is key to achieving any positive change. The very least we hope you will do is engage with us, whether as a friend (preferably) or as an adversary (if you absolutely must).

We understand that time, availability and finances are very limited resources, so we do not lay claim to these unless you willingly offer one or the other of them. For us to move forward with our plans, we do need your ideas, opinions and visions of what Tarkastad could be, firstly, and your support in whatever form you can give, secondly.

If you do have the time, we have many small tasks that need to be distributed to suitably skilled people. If you have the availability, we would love to have you participating in our meetings and events. If you have available finances, speak to us about what you would like to sponsor and we’ll do our best to match you up with something in your area of interest, whether that be investing in a start-up business, funding a person’s education or saving the Samango Monkey.

"One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing." – Jean Vanier