An investigation of the communication practices of the Kodumela Peanut-Butter Development Project
The study investigated the communication practices of the Kodumela Peanut-butter
development project (KPDP). The project was initiated and established by
unemployed women of Puleng village.
The research made use of unstructured interviews, participant observation and
unobtrusive measures to gather information about the communication practices at
the KPDP. It has been noted that the education level of most of these women is low,
and they cannot understand, read and write English. The language of
communication is Pedi. This language is used during meetings and during informal
discussions within the project.
The investigation has shown that oral communication dominates other in this project.
The KPDP members prefer using participatory communication, as it allows all
members to actively participate by means of asking and responding to questions
raised. The project makes minimum use of other means of communication such as
written communication because most members are illiterate.
The financial donors who have assisted the KPDP to become what it is today
monitor the day to day running of the project. The women who started the project
together with the donors have a smooth running communication system in place for
communicating with their donors. The communication system is based on mutual
trust and respect for both parties. The donors respect the beneficiaries’ needs, and
assist them according to their needs. The bottom-up communication flow has kept
the project going.
The research report recommends that the women in the project who are responsible
for running the day-to-day business of the project attend a literacy program, which
will assist them in running the project more efficiently and effectively if they want to
compete on the national and international market. The project is doing extremely well
at community level but its members want the project to grow bigger not just at
University of Pretoria etd – Makunyane, M E (2007)
An investigation of the Communication Practices of the Kodumela Peanut-Butter Development Project.
community level but at national level as well. Their illiteracy has become a barrier in
communicating with people outside the project who are interested in their project.