1.0      VISION:

To be the preferred provider of Sustainable Community Development in Africa, addressing job creation, food production and renewable energy through skills transfer and intensive mentorship.


2.0     MISSION:

To provide excellence in Sustainable Development for our clients, by using sound management techniques in a cost effective and environmentally friendly manner.


3.0       OBJECTIVES:

  • To provide a support centre for Sustainable Rural Development in
    South Africa
    which will be used to develop previously disadvantaged communities.

  • To ensure that skills are transferred to the local community through an intensive and ongoing education training and mentorship approach.
  • Provide accredited training.

  • Develop rural communities to enable them to utilise available resources and skills to provide an income.

  • Develop sustainable community projects in South Africa.

  • Transfer valuable skills among different communities to allow them to develop into entrepreneurs.

  • The establishment of a network of sustainable infrastructures will be used at the ZCSD training centre to demonstrate the process through a hands on practical approach.

  • Create partnerships with private sector companies and government institutions.


Much of ZCSD’s experience in the tourism, conservation, forestry and

development industry has been hard earned at the “coal face” through

ZCSD’s implementation of and participation in conservation & environmental

projects, establishment of SMME’s, project management of and training for

community driven projects.


In all projects a holistic environmentally friendly approach is the key to

developing sustainable solutions and successful implementation. 
Where appropriate, project planning provides for cutting edge solutions in

respect of waste management, recycling and environmental rehabilitation

through established linkages with leading research and educational


Since solutions are practical and proven the ZCSD is frequently retained to

manage the implementation of projects.

ZCSD combines the skills of professionals, who are all experts in their
respective fields, to ensure that the appropriate mix of (mentorship) skills
& experience is made available to the client.  ZCSD is an equal opportunities
company, which aims to transfer real capacity to members of the previously
disadvantaged communities.

ZCSD is totally committed to building long term business relationships with its

clients on the basis of providing a professional and efficient service.

In early 2002, the Zululand Centre for Sustainable Development was formed

as a section 21 company. 

ZCSD established a training and demonstration centre which is situated at the old Empangeni water works overlooking Lake


The ZCSD is fully functional with various demonstration systems including:

  1. Permaculture and organic farming
  2. Alternative energy and appropriate technology
  3. Integrated waste management system
  4. Craft from waste 
  5. Growing of traditional medicinal plants and herbs
  6. Aquaculture and Aquaponics
  7. Biomass to power

      A training centre
is operating and can accommodate up to 3
5 trainees
     at a time.

These courses are registered with the Department of Labour and are certified through the Durban Institute of Technology (formerly the Technikon Natal). The ZCSD works closely with the Durban Institute of Technology and can develop any tailor-made training module to suit the needs of the trainees.

4.3 The ZCSD is currently offering certificate courses in the following.

  1. Basic Business Skills (including bookkeeping, office management, business types, shareholding, accounting, corporate governance etc.).
  2. Permaculture
  3. Integrated Waste Management 
  4. Alien Weed Eradication 
  5. Eco-tourism
  6. Forestry
  7. Crafts from waste
  8. Micro Enterprises
  9. Craft Development
  10. Aquaculture and Aquaponics


5.0 Directors/ Management Committee: email contacts

Dr Syd Kelly (Executive Director)

Mr Gavin Eichler – (Executive Director & CEO)


ZCSD has three key service divisions:

  • Natural Area Management
  • Project Services
  • Training

6.1 Natural Area Management:

    1. Natural resources identification and management planning;
    2. Social responsibility programmes with neighbouring Communities;
    3. Development planning in the fields of tourism, conservation, rehabilitation, waste management and recycling;
    4. Ongoing holistic management of natural areas for the maximum return to the resource owners;
    5. Game management, maintenance, rehabilitation and erosion control, alien weed eradication, asset management;
    6. Waste management and recycling;
    7. Skills transfer and capacity building;
    8. Administration and payroll services.

6.2 Project Services:

  1. Preparation of business plans;
  2. Project management of development projects;
  3. Environmentally friendly infrastructural services (waterless toilets, enviro-laundries, water purification);
  4. Feasibility studies and associated research;
  5. Implementation of alternative energy solutions;
  6. Strategy and SWOT analysis;
  7. Fund management;
  8. Financial structuring and sourcing of funds;
  9. Establishment and financing of appropriate SMME’s;
  10. Mentoring for SMME’s;
  11. Community liaison, facilitation and capacity building.

6.3 Training:

  1. Skills assessment and selection of trainees;
  2. Sustainable food production;
  3. Integrated waste management and recycling;
  4. Rural based eco tourism (guides, cooks, cleaning staff, maintenance, management)
  5. Crafts from waste and available natural resources (frequently using the timber harvested from alien plant eradication)
  6. Sustainable forestry methodologies;
  7. Promoting the sustainable use of and propagation of traditional medicinal plants;
  8. Establishment of SMMEs and associated training;
  9. Good governance procedures;
  10. Practical Project Management for community projects;
  11. Community committee training.

7.0 CUSTOMERS - ZCSD has done work for the following customers:

  1. National Roads Agency
  2. Mondi Forests
  3. Sappi Forests
  4. European Union
  5. Local Municipalities
  6. Scott-Wilson Environment and Development Planning
  7. Institute of Natural Resources
  8. KZN Nature Conservation Services
  9. PEACE Foundation
  10. Lombard & Associates
  11. Community Development Programme
  12. Enviro Applied Products
  13. CSIR
  14. Zululand Chamber of Business Foundation
  15. Richards Bay Minerals
  16. Foskor
  17. Nutriflo
  18. Department of Agriculture and Environment Affairs
  19. Department of Environment Affairs and Tourism
  20. Department of Economic Development and Tourism
  21. Wildlife and Environment Society SA
  22. Kagiso Trust.
  23. Cindek



  1. Richards Bay Spatial Development Initiative (SDI)
  2. Uthungulu Regional Council
  3. Umhlatuze Municipality
  4. Umkhanyakude District Municipality
  5. Zululand Chamber of Business Foundation
  6. Department of Economic Development and Tourism
  7. Department of Agriculture and Tourism
  8. Department of Education and Culture
  9. Technikon Natal
  10. Owen Sithole Agriculture College
  11. Pretoria University
  12. Agriculture Research Council



Within South Africa the ZCSD carries out work predominantly in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Swaziland, Mphumalanga and the Northern Province.

In Southern Africa ZCSD has also been asked to assist with projects in Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


10.0 CONTACT DETAILS: http://www.zcsd.org.za

Contact person:  Mr. Gavin Eichler / Dr. Syd Kelly / Mr. Ian Coates

Postal address   :   The ZCSD, P.O. Box 7304, Empangeni Station,     
                                  Zip Code: 3910

Physical address:   ZCSD, Farm Pure, Empangeni

Cellphone Numbers : Gavin Eichler +2783-308-4818
                               Dr. Syd Kelly +2782-
652 1145                               

Cell facsimile no.   +27866841631

E-mail address  : Gavin Eichler  gavin@ecosystems.co.za

                        Dr. Syd Kelly  sydkelly@telkomsa.net

Companion Links  :  Amandla Resource Development Consortium

11.0 MAP & Directions:

Follow the R102 northwards for 2.7km from Old Main Road intersection marked A then turn right into tarmac road demarcated 'Zululand Centre for Sustainable Development'. Follow road for 700m then turn sharp left onto gravel farm road. Follow farm road for 800m & go through culvert crossing of N2, 500m past culvert turn left.

 At this point (marked B) a farm road is followed north and eastwards for 2.9km to site ;

(Follow the signs).