Abalimi Bezekhaya (farmers of the home in isiXhosa) is a community-based organisation, which has been assisting small-scale township farmers since 1982. Many of the people with whom we engage come from the Eastern Cape and grew up farming.
But farming is very different in the Mother City. The limited space, sandy soil and harsh wind or sunshine in the summer makes it difficult to grow vegetables. Yet, these farmers show us that it can be done successfully and organically.
Ma Pat Gcilishe has a garden in Khayelitsha, which has been certified organic through the participatory guarantee system (PGS). She says that the biggest challenge is access to land and water to be able to grow her veggies, specifically in the urban area. There is also too much red tape to access government support with various restrictions and politics that divide the community.
“The rewarding part is, however, that we can help each other to feed our families and our communities. During COVID-19 we linked up with the Community Action Networks (CANs) and helped feed people in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni and Mitchells Plain. Let’s keep that bond strong. Amen,” says Ma Pat.
Zodwa Dawethi from Moya weKhaya in Khayelitsha echoes Ma Pat’s sentiments, indicating that government gives preference to large-scale farmers, forgetting the small operators. She says that there is too little financial assistance from government. “We need to buy resources such as manure, seedlings and seeds, as well as pay for electricity for the borehole and maintain our tools and irrigation when it breaks. We often employ people to assist us in the garden and would like to be able to provide a stipend to the youth to help us with the day-to-day work. In the end, we need to, however, use our profits to run the garden and we are left with little to maintain ourselves,” explains Zodwa.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The food stories of our komvandaan* *Komvandaan means ‘where we come from'.
During a time when big media houses closed esteemed magazine titles, one small, black female-owned company – Mikateko Media – launched a brand-new quarterly magazine called Koe’sister.
Nicola Rabkin shares what a typical, environmentally conscious day looks like for her family, who is striving for eco-mindfulness.
BUBBLES SANS BOOZE
Zari Sparkling, an alcohol-free bubbly, has been creating a new niche in the beverage sector since 2010.
Share Your Notes!
In 2020, two Bishops Diocesan College matric boys created a website called Notes Share to help online learning for all students from Grades 8 to 12.
Food App With A Social Conscience
What sets the Pekkish SA food-ordering app apart is that it empowers local food businesses and connects hungry customers with lesser known gems in their neighbourhood.
Activism In The Time Of Covid-19
The Bench Marks Foundation rose to the challenges caused by the pandemic through innovation and creativity with its community activist training programme.
Poo: An Early Warning System For Covid-19
The South African Medical Research Council explains the unexpected role that sewage plays in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Breath Of Clean Air
An enterprising group of South African doctors, engineers and designers based in East London has invented a medical device that revolutionises oxygen delivery to COVID-19 patients.
Run, Scramble, Swim, Repeat
SwimRun offers athletes and fitness enthusiasts a novel new way to test their limits.
To Go Far, Go Together
Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading (VPUU), an area-based community development organisation, has used social innovation to coproduce strong neighbourhood economies while helping to fight COVID-19.