The Working Team Presents to the Municipality


Many different communication issues are apparent between the working team, the Municipality and NGO’s in Langrug. Part of our project is to help work on these communication issues. One way our group thought we could help communication was by allowing the working team members to present the proposal for the Multi Purpose Centre to the municipality during the weekly partnership meeting.

Cast of Characters

Working group members and the WPI students on Monday, joined by the WPI advisors, the municipality and CORC members on Tuesday.


The preparation and presentation took place inside the wendy-house in the informal settlement where everyone sat on chairs in a large circle.   This took place on 5 November 2012 and 6 November 2012.


When we arrived on the morning of 5 November 2012 our plan was to prepare for the partnership meeting to be held on Tuesday. In this meeting we were to present our proposal for the MPC and talk briefly about the re-blocking. The WPI group decided that a great way to present our proposal was to have the working team present each major topic associated with the proposal. For the MPC these topics included finalizing the design, construction, materials, ownership, and the cost share agreement. For each topic we did a group brainstorm of the questions we had for the municipality, as well as the needs associated with each topic. After that we had each of the working team members pick a topic to present. We gave them each the brainstormed list of questions we came up with and practiced presenting them as a group. Some of the working team members seemed nervous and reluctant to present. Many of the working team members who are more comfortable with Xhosa chose to present in Xhosa and use a translator.

Coordinating this proved to be somewhat difficult because when we arrived for the partnership meeting on Tuesday, some of the translators were either late or missing. This threw off some of the working team members. Also during the partnership meeting we noticed that some of the more confident working team members seemed less confident when they presented to the municipality than while working with us. It was apparent though that the working team members had prepared somewhat after our meeting on Monday because when we arrived on Tuesday they were studying their notes and writing down more notes for themselves. Their preparedness helped the meeting run smoothly while Juan took the lead to facilitate discussion after each point.

Reflection and Learning

Although having the working team present on Tuesday may not have been the most effective way to get our questions answered during the partnership meeting, this exercise proved to be extremely valuable. Presentation practice on Monday was a great bonding experience between the working team and us. We found that they encouraged each other and took encouragement from us. Furthermore, the women got to have a voice during a meeting usually dominated by men’s voices. This exercise was useful in helping to improve their presentation skills. Hopefully practicing these presentation skills will help them to raise their voices more often and give them the skills they need to propose ideas to the municipality.