Vuka, a brand new social impact co-working space will officially open its doors in the Cape Winelands in December 2020.

Vuka is based in the heart of Paarl and will initially be shared by three organisations, Inceba Trust, Valcare and Labit, but opportunities exist for more social impact change-makers to join the collective.

The Vuka Story

A few years ago, a dream was born in the heart of local leaders to see organisations, individuals and businesses collaborate more closely in a practical way, to bring about sustainable change in South Africa.

Inspired by the song “Least of these (Vuka)” from the Vibrancy Collective at In Harmonie, they decided to rise up and pioneer something innovative and new in the Cape Winelands.

Vuka means ‘arise’ in Xhosa, and that is exactly what is needed in our country today. For like-hearted and like-minded people to step up, stand united and collaborate more than ever,” says Ivan Swartz, CEO of Valcare and Labit and one of the co-founders of Vuka.

A Co-Working Space with a Difference

Like many other co-working spaces around the world, Vuka will have a modern, flexible office set-up, encouraging fluid and more focused working conditions. There will be designated and hot desking (sitting or standing) options, a coffee lounge, various meeting rooms and a creative brainstorming area, to mention a few features.

Unlike most other spaces though, the vukas (Vuka tenants) will all be people who are making a social impact, one way or another

Over and above the cost savings of sharing a physical office space and its resources, vukas will also get the opportunity to share ideas, offer solutions and encourage and support one another in their efforts.

Working in the social impact industry in South Africa is challenging and complex, especially amidst Covid-19. The country is riddled with economic, psychological and educational challenges. We have no other choice: We can’t do this in silos, we have to stick together,” says Nielen Bekker, CEO of Inceba Trust.

Optimised Design Approach

The Vuka team utilised the skills of the award-winning local designer, Joan Viljoen, to help with the conseptualisation of the new space.

With her multi-disciplinary approach, she helped tremendously to visualise each of the rooms separately, and in cohesion with one another, to ensure an interconnected space that flowed seamlessly.

Joan and her husband were more than just contractors though; they wholeheartedly bought into the Vuka vision and understood the complexities and limitations of the nonprofit industry. They went over and above to create a top-class space on a budget: from drawing plans, refurbishing and sourcing suitable materials.

“We were faced with the challenge of designing a space that looks the part within the constraints of a tight timeline and budget as well as having to re-use some existing elements and accommodate three unique companies. We trust that we came up with a solution that not only pleases aesthetically, but also functionally and reflects the amazing people who work there,” says Joan Viljoen.

As of 7 December 2020 the space will officially be occupied by the three organisations, with more tenants joining in the new year.

Vuka Co-Working Space
Newlink Building – Third Floor
New Street

Interior office design by Joan Viljoen.

Watch this space as more partnership opportunities will be made available soon.