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Background to the Vrygrond project

Vrygrond is one of the poorest townships in the Western Cape. Vrygrond is situated 30 km South of Cape Town – the area is home to 40 000 inhabitants‚ many of whom are migrants from across Africa. Residents live in shack–like dwellings and healthcare‚ educational and recreational facilities are in short supply.

Professors and students from the Information Systems Department at the University of Cape Town and Pforzheim University in Germany decided to collaborate in helping residents in this impoverished area to improve their employment possibilities. The result of this partnership is the Vrygrond Community Lab – the lab was run as a pilot project from December 2012 and was officially launched in March 2013.

The Vrygrond project vision

The vision of this joint project is to sustainably improve living and working conditions by providing opportunities for computer–assisted employment possibilities. Interns working in this project have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor.

The immediate goal of the Vrygrond project is to equip residents with computer skills that will assist them in their daily activities‚ whether this is finding employment‚ running a business or studying.


The first step was to establish the Vrygrond Community Lab as a beneficial contributor to the local community. Now that this has been successfully completed – we need to ensure the sustainability of the initiative so that it can benefit more people going forward. UCT is appealing to corporate or individual sponsors to ensure that the Vrygrond Community Lab’s basic expenses are covered and safeguard the existence of the Lab in the future.

To make a donation, please transfer to the following bank account:
University of Cape Town
Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

Account Number: 071503854
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Branch Code: 025009 Rondebosch
Reference: 232644 VCL and your name

Important note:
Please send an email with the payment details including the amount and the date of the donation, to Maureen Tanner (, otherwise we will be unable to trace your payment.

Find out more about the Vrygrond Community Lab