The Paardeberg Sustainability Initiative (PSI) was conceived in 2001, in recognition of threats to the biodiversity and natural resources of the Paardeberg , a privately-owned mountain in the Western Cape, South Africa. A primary threat is economic pressure facing some 50 farmers and landowners of the mountaintop and surrounding areas. Additional and aggravating threats are global climate shifts, poverty, limited statehood…. compromised capacity, education and implementation/enforcement of legislation. These challenges must be addressed to fulfil world guidelines (Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals, et) for sustainable development.
PSI is currently a VAT registered (No: 4250264704) non-profit company [NPC], Reg. no 2011/127140/08, with Section 18A tax exempt status. It is aligned with several partners which share its vision and operate in the Paardeberg, and in this sense can be described as collaborative facilitator. Through fundraising for various integrated non-profitable projects, the PSI seeks to promote sustainability in the Paardeberg and in broader South African contexts. The PSI also encourages local profitable enterprises to contribute generously and tax-efficiently to a central fund that is managed by the Board of Directors of the PSI. These funds are either ‘ring- fenced’ for specific projects, or allocated to projects requiring support, through a process that seeks to fulfill both the agenda of the donor and the mandate of the PSI.
The PSI houses several projects, including the Paardeberg Fire Protection Association, Paardeberg Environmental Awareness and Response, Paardeberg Alternative Energy Solutions, Paardeberg Botanical Surveys, Paardeberg Wild Flower Harvesting and the Paardeberg Erosion Project . All finances are conducted through a central bank account, but independently managed and audited for each project separately, as per the PSI constitution/inaugural meeting. The PSI does not prejudice the independence of enterprises or projects falling within its ambit. However, its role in protecting biodiversity and natural resources of the Paardeberg , influences the directives it generates. Participation of all interested and affected parties of any single project or enterprise is key to the application of these directives.