History Of Sustaining The Wild Coast
SWC developed into an organisation as a result of the 'discovery' of the Wild Coast by infrastructure and industrial developers as one of the few remaining undeveloped areas of South Africa post apartheid. Local people of the Xolobeni area sought support for formulating their own plans for development of their area rather than being imposed upon by external agencies.
The type of 'trickle down' industrial growth that is externally proposed will have very limited benefits for local people who are not skilled in industrial technologies, and comes at great environmental cost that will undermine local subsistence livelihoods which link into community eco-tourism plans for the area. These local plans are possible because of the majestic beauty of the area and the unique biodiversity that exists here.
Hence SWC became an organisation of volunteer professionals guided by local people, making the connections between local needs and the satisfaction thereof and so ensuring sustainability. SWC emphasises 'bottom up' development that is based on empowering local communities where poverty reduction is purposefully designed to benefit the poor and ecological integrity is retained.