The Place: 91 Dunes from the Aub River road, !Ae!Hai Heritage park, within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park
The People: ‡Khomani San, Mier
Owning Entities: Mier Municipality & Communal Property Association of the ‡Khomani San
Beneficiary Villages: Askham, Andriesvale, Rietfontein, Welkom.
!Xaus Lodge is owned by both the ‡Khomani San and the Mier. The former are a first people who, through their ownership of part of the Kgalagadi, are able to continue many of their important traditions. Many of these date back to the origins of humanity. The Mier community were shunted around during apartheid, eventually winding up at the top of the Northern Cape. They jointly succeeded in a land-claim settlement, and !Xaus is the product thereof.
As is unfortunately typical in South Africa, a systematic failure of service delivery has left large degrees of unemployment in its wake. Operations such as !Xaus Lodge are important contributions to the local economies, but alone are insufficient. We believe that education-related interventions in these areas are likely to have high returns. Currently, we are in the process of investigating whether there are deworming deficiencies (deworming is one of the most cost-effective interventions today). Further investigations regarding after-school programs and other interventions to combat underage-alcoholism are underway.