Act 2: Planning and Moving Forward

Cast of Characters

Working Team Members:  Alfred, Amanda, Kholeka, Khungeka, Phumelisa, Siyanda, Trevor, Victoria, Zameka, Zodwa

CORC Representatives: Mwau Baraka, Olwethu Jack

Municipality Representatives: David “Dawie” Carolissen, Harold Lamberts, Johru “Joey” Robyn, Natasha Siyengele, Hendri Steenberg

WPI Project Team: Brittany, Caryn, Juan, Megan, Michaella, Ralle, Sarah, Tim

WPI Advisor Team: Robert Hersh, Scott Jiusto

For more information on these people, please view our Cast of Characters page.



After a hectic first week, the WPI student teams decided to temporarily reorganize into two new project teams to focus on the two projects that were determined to have the most relevance and the highest impact on the community. The first project is the Multi-purpose Centre, a place where community meetings can take place and smaller groups can have a space to work, hold gatherings, promote their businesses and supervise the children of the community. This would be complemented with a WaSH area for the whole community to access and use. The second project is the planning of the reblocking of Cluster 1 in F-Section. The planning phases for both projects were seen as completed by the working group members. However, after the WPI teams reviewed the status of these projects, it was clear there was still a lot of work to do in order to consider them successfully completed. The following scenes describe the most important events and discussions that occurred throughout the second and third weeks.

Act Highlights

  • WPI Students began proposal for multi-purpose centre and reblocking
  • WPI Students realise problems with current reblocking map
  • Relationship develops between WPI students and working team members
  • WPI students begin to help the working team with their presenting and organisational skills


There were many different interactions between the WPI groups and other stakeholders throughout this crucial planning period. The scenes below are split into three categories: scenes regarding the projects, scenes about the formation of relationships and scenes concerning the development of skills. Short summaries of each of the scenes are listed below along with links to the full-length scenes.

Development of Projects

Discussing the Needs of the Community and How the MPC Can Help

The Municipality was clearly hesitant about the idea of a multi-purpose centre when it was first explained to them. This scene is about a meeting between the WPI students and the working group members. Everyone came together to learn about the immediate needs of the community and collaboratively brainstorm ways that the multi-purpose centre could meet these needs.  The main focus areas of the meeting were health, safety, education and socioeconomic development.  To read the full scene, click here.


Making the Decision to Move Forward with the Multi-Purpose Centre

When the Municipality told us that they were on board with the idea of the MPC, we realised that a concrete plan was needed to make the centre a reality. This scene is about how the WPI teams and the working group members came to the decision on how to move forward, where to build, and some other major decisions about the MPC. To read the full scene, click here.


Reblocking Guidebook Discussion

This scene depicts a discussion within the reblocking group about the guidebook that we intend to develop for the process. The discussion behind the guidebook showed how the working team members understood the reblocking process. By providing important insight into reblocking, we realised that the main problem for the working team is not a lack of understanding but of communication methods. By using visual aids and asking questions to the group, important discussions arose. To read the full scene, click here.


Re-Measuring for Reblocking

Upon initial analysis of the measurements of shack sizes and the area intended for cluster 1, it became clear that there were important errors and miscalculations in the process. Due to this, the reblocking team set out to F-section to remeasure its shacks and map the overall area of the cluster. An important aspect of this was to measure out the homes with their owners, so they had a clear idea of the size of the shack they would receive upon being reblocked. This process also revealed important needs of the working team with regards of their measuring and calculating areas. To read the full scene, click here.


Spacing Out Reblocking

When it comes to designing the layout of the reblocked shacks, many things need to be considered. One of these factors is how far apart each shack is spaced from each other.  During our partnership meeting, this topic arose. To read the full scene, click here.


Fire in Zwelitsha

Zwelitsha is the northernmost section of Langrug, which sits on the slope of a mountain. The families here have no access to electricity or washing stations and the shacks are placed sporadically and are not easily accessible. When we got to Langrug on Monday, 5 November, the working group casually mentioned that there had been a fire that morning in Zwelitsha. They had taken pictures of the incident and showed them to us. We decided to walk up there to take a look at the damage. To read the full scene, click here.


Development of Relationships

Lunch Scene

The WPI group had been bringing lunch to share with the working group members on the days that they were in Langrug. The working group members would occasionally bring a loaf of bread or some drinks to share as well. This scene is about a discussion focused on some issues that the working group members were having about the lunch food that the WPI group was bringing. This meeting was facilitated by Olwethu Jack, who also acted as an interpreter between Xhosa and English to the WPI students.  To read the full scene, click here.


Working Team Arguments

The working group members have had a number of conflicts that the WPI students had not been fully aware of. This scene is about some of the tensions between the working group members, including some of the arguments in Xhosa. Olwethu Jack facilitated the meeting and also interpreted for both the working group members and the WPI students. To read the full scene, click here.


Playing Games

Even though there is a lot of work to do in Langrug, the working group members like to have fun whenever there is a break. This scene is about some children’s games that the working group members played with the WPI students when there was some down time from work. Playing games was a fun bonding experience between the two groups. To read the full scene, click here.


Introductions at the Municipality: A Revelation

Since Dawie was in the hospital when we first arrived in South Africa, our teams never received the formal introductions at the Municipality that he had planned for our first day. The meeting was supposed to serve as a way to introduce us to the staff at the DIHS and vice versa. It was also meant to give us a background into the informal settlements of Stellenbosch, including Langrug. Since we had already been working in Langrug for a little over two weeks, this greater context to our project was needed. This scene describes the presentation given to us by the municipality and what we learned from it. To read the full scene, click here.


Development of Working Skills

Amanda Realises the Importance of Documentation

There are many different communication issues between the community and the municipality that have become apparent since the WPI group started their work in Langrug. This scene is about a debriefing meeting between the working group members and the WPI team that took place after a multi-stakeholder meeting with the municipality. During the debriefing, we discussed ways to express and present ideas; focusing mainly on getting ideas onto paper rather than solely relying on verbal communication.  To read the full scene, click here.


The Working Group Presents to the Municipality

Many different communication issues are apparent between the working team, the municipality and NGO’s in Langrug. Part of our project is to help work on these communication issues. One way our group thought we could help communication was by allowing the working team members to present the proposal for the Multi Purpose Centre to the municipality during the weekly partnership meeting. To read the full scene, click here.


How Simple Office Supplies Can Spark Progress

During the partnership meeting on 6 November 2012, many important points were made regarding the MPC and the reblocking process. Throughout the discussion, a new approach was used: a white board and marker to take notes. This allowed the entire meeting to see the discussion points and agree on responsibilities. To read the full scene, click here.



The Difficulty With Planning

On 9 November 2012, the WPI team decided that in order to help the working group learn better organisation and communication skills, we would give them a calendar and have them write down each day’s accomplishments.  We hoped that these type of activities would help them to be better prepared for meetings and be as productive as possible. To read the full scene, click here.


Learning How to Do (and Teach) a Cost Analysis

On 8 November 2012, we discussed some critical questions related to our relationship with the working team. Jack asked the working team if they had understood all of the work the WPI has done over the past few weeks.  Kholeka said that she was having trouble understanding the calculations we have done for the cost analysis and how we came up with the numbers. We decided to work with the working team to teach them how we came up with the cost analysis. To read the full scene, click here.

Continue on to Act 3