In 2010 the Department of Rural Development & Land Reform (DRDLR) launched the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) aimed at bridging the skills gap among the South African rural youth.
The 70 hectare Doorn Nek Farm in the Zuurberg mountains was purchased by DRDLR in 2013 for development as a NARYSEC Training Facility for the Eastern Cape. The existing infrastructure on the farm was dilapidated and not appropriate for the intended use. We were appointed with ARUP in 2014 to design training facilities that could accommodate up to 400 NARYSEC trainees. When not in use by DRDLR these facilities are to be made available through SAN Parks as tourist accommodation for visitors to the adjacent Addo Elephant Park.
The brief for the site was expanded to include an interpretation centre for both overseas and local visitors. The centre will contain exhibits describing local historical and cultural stories with an emphasis on the Khoi-San and Xhosa communities.