Dump hotspot turned into garden

The team behind a community development project launched recently has hit the ground running, cleaning up the local surroundings.

The Community Upliftment was launched a month ago and conducted a clean-up operation on Monday 30 July, recruiting 27 volunteers in the process.

The area in which the team works was a dumping hotspot and in the hopes of having a better, cleaner community, volunteers have helped clean the site.

“I think we are doing the City of Cape Town a big favour, to transform the dumping hotspot into a community garden. The benefits are in hopes of gaining contracts for the volunteers, who are helping out with the clean-up, [and to have] absolutely no dumping at the hotspot. A lot of illegal activities took place, so this is just a continuation of where we left it. We are transforming this dumping hotspot into a food garden,” explains founding director Max-John Swartz-Amansure.

Seeds have been planted in the garden, however, volunteers are in need of top soil in order to plant and get a good harvest.

“Going forth is getting the soil into the ground and fencing off the garden. This is a positive side of the uproaring activities that happen in Parkwood,” states Swartz-Amansure.

The volunteers are on site on a daily basis, four hours a day, Monday to Friday.

Several vegetables are being planted such as spinach, sweet potatoes and herbs.

“The community is well aware of what is going on here, we are working here and there is good communication that we have with our volunteers,” he says.

The ground was tested by a professional gardener.

For now they are planting water-wise plants around the garden.

Swartz-Amansure says ward 66 councillor William Akim is aware of the clean-up and gardening, due to it being a public space.

Swartz-Amansure has been living in Parkwood for 21 years and says that during that time there has been no development on the dumping hotspot.

Currently, the team members are taking the initiative into their own hands.

“We want to appeal to the public to participate and to donate. It can be fencing or anything that can be used, especially for the volunteers. We are doing it freely to help the organisation transform this dumping hotspot. This is only the start and we will be taking it further street by street,” says Swartz-Amansure­.

“The public can drop off their grey water every day – it will be used for the garden.”

Volunteer, Pauline Knight, adds: “I am here to help my community.”VThe organisation is in need of more equipment, boots, overalls and unwanted plants. All donations can be dropped off at the site. Contact Max on 061 778 3780.