After the Festive Season break, the planning meetings for the Woza eNanda Walking Trail resumed on 20/1/14 at the INK ABM Offices in KwaMashu.
Gary Cullen from Durban Green Corridor welcomed everyone and briefly summarized the purpose of the initiate and the status quo of the planning. While the walking trail directly links with the Woza eNanda Heritage Route, the key idea is to provide more options for visitors to interact with the community and the latter to benefit economically from such visits. Mostly the walking trail is meant to attract tourists, local visitors, and especially young people, who are not in a group or with a tour operator, but who would like to have a township experience, participate in social events (e.g. involving music, soccer, taverns) or simply walk ‘off the beaten track’.
The main focus of this meeting was the clean-up operations and addressing environmental problems. Mostly this refers to litter removal and alien invasive clearing, but also includes attending to water leakages, sewage and effluence problems and rehabilitation. It was agreed that these issues should be tackled on a ward basis, notably wards 54, 55 and 57. The respective ward councillors will be informed and a presentation will be arranged at the INK Councillors Forum. Lindelani Zuke, who is the newly appointed horticulturalist at Durban Green Corridor, will be the coordinator for the environmental team. The first priority is to take GPS readings and map problem areas more precisely.
The management of the waste collection skips will be taken up with DSW, but it is also important to engage with the local co-ops in the area to ensure that residents are indeed placing their rubbish into the skips, rather than piling it up around it. The community must play a key role in deciding how to take the clean-up forward. The ward councillors might call a community meeting to this effect. DSW can supply bags, gloves, a few tools and will arrange a date of collection. These efforts can extend or link in with existing programmes such as ‘Adopt a Spot’, etc.
Sihlanzimvelo is currently involved in litter removal, alien clearing and rehabilitation along the streams, but only for 3 metres on each side. Areas where infestation extends much further must be identified and attended to independently. Experience shows that once an area has been cleared, people immediately start planting vegetables there. Consultation with the community must occur; while the project can facilitate community gardening, this must occur in a planned and organized manner.
The area around the sports field (ward 55 only) was selected as a key focal point of intervention, from where the cleaning effort will radiate out. This area has a lot of potential, as it engages many residents through play and sports facilities; the pond can be turned into an attractive wetland and recreational resource. This cleaned up area can be a showcase for the entire project and an information board could be set up there.
Angela Baker (not present at this meeting) is working on a project with City Architects in preparation for the international Architecture conference in August. It is called ‘Pocket parks’ and involves art installations and other interventions in selected areas. One of these areas is near the Gandhi Settlement and this initiative, while proceeding independently, should be coordinated with the walking trail project, especially the development of a shorter loop trail around the Gandhi Settlement.
While Lindelani’s team focuses on the clean-up, the second team, coordinated by Sabine, carries on with content development. Both work-streams must link with the schools and engage with teachers to involve them in the clean-up and help design the trail to suit their educational needs.
The following persons were present at the meeting: Gary Cullen – DGC, Alina Fleczok-DGC, Mandla Nxumalo-DurbanTourism, Sanele Mvuyane-DGC, Sandile Maphumulo-INK-ABM, Loyiso Ntsalaze –DGC, Sabine Marschall-UKZN, Bart Fokkens-DGC, Wiseman Mhlongo –DGC, Lindelani Zuke –DGC, Nolwandle Zulu –DSW, Siphiwe Cele –INK-ABM, Thuyi Dludla –DSW, Zandile Ngcobo-DGC, Mpume Gumede-CSCM, Christi Cupido –BMK Consultants, Snqobile Nkabinde –BMK Consultants
Compiled by Sabine Marschall 21/1/14