Act Four: Meeting with the City

Act Four primarily consists of meetings that our team had with various departments within the City of Cape Town. These include meetings to map out the land included in our proposal, as well as meetings with our sponsor and representatives from the Roads & Stormwater and Parks departments. These meetings helped our team understand issues surrounding the Black River, such as the water hyacinth. They were also beneficial by improving our understanding of the land layout; this was done by mapping desire lines and features of the area and meeting with the Parks Department. With a better understanding of the land we are focusing on for our proposal, our trip to Harvest of Hope later in the week helped build enthusiasm for community gardening along the pathway in MGV. Additionally, it gave both our team and the community members that joined us on the trip ideas for producing and selling agriculture in MGV. Finally, Act Four finishes with our biggest presentation in Cape Town to-date at the Two Rivers Urban Park Steering Committee Meeting.

Scene One Summary

Shahbaz and Tara went to the City of Cape Town 44 Wale Street building to evaluate and create maps for our proposal. They used ISIS software to facilitate our pathway planning by determining property borders and owners with respect to defined desire lines. They then used ArcView software to create and export maps we can then put into our proposal in order to orient proposal readers to what we are referring to as we talk about specific locations and features along our pathway. They will be preparing to return Thursday to continue mapping more specifically for integrating maps into our proposal.

  • Used ISIS software to determine property borders and owners with respect to preexisting desire lines
  • Used ArcView software to export labeled maps for proposal
  • Evaluate how maps can most effectively supplement proposal
Read more of Scene One here.

Scene Two Summary

This scene is one of our weekly, Monday afternoon, sponsor meetings.  In this session, we discussed mapping for our project and the upcoming Steering Committee presentation.  We also got recommendations for our future plans such as our meeting with Peter Koen about the water hyacinth.

  • Gained direction in mapping such as aspects to add in our maps and different visuals
  • Gained feedback on our presentation for the Steering Committee
Read more of Scene Two here.

Scene Three Summary

Two of our team members visited Harvest of Hope along with other MGV community members. The aim of this visit was to gain information about the CSA and ask questions that could help an agricultural business in MGV. The tour started with a garden in Gugulethu where we learned about some of the successes and challenges in maintaining a Harvest of Hope garden. The biggest issue seemed to be the lack of motivation from the gardeners to adapt to new ideas and methods of gardening. Our next stop was at the Harvest of Hope pack shed which packages the weekly boxes in a confined space using a streamlined assembly system. Our final stop was at the training garden where many interested gardeners come to gain skills and inexpensive supplies. Overall, the day was filled with lots of learning and ideas.

  • Visited the Gugulethu garden, the Harvest of Hope pack shed and the Harvest of Hope training garden
  • Learned the challenges with starting an agricultural business
  • Rob Small referred Shaheed as a potentially beneficial head gardener and Ronell as an administrator for future business plans
Read more of Scene Three here.

Scene Four Summary

Our team met with Peter Koen from the City of Cape Town’s Roads and Stormwater Department.  This meeting was to discuss the water hyacinth in the Black River and other potential uses for it.  Overall, Peter did not see viable options for the water hyacinth, such as the proposed composting, because it spreads easily and any uses of it are potentially threatening to other water sources.  He also gave us useful information about the Black River and its causes for pollution and said he would send us any information that he thought was relevant is he found it.

  • Learned that the city spends R600,000 a year on removing the water hyacinth from the Black River, specifically on labour and engineering
  • Discussed potential uses of the water hyacinth other the landfills, such as composting and making paper
  • Learned about the pollution sources of the Black River, such as multiple treatment plants
Read more of Scene Four here.

Scene Five Summary

Two of the pathway team members met with Pauline McConney from the Parks Department at her office on Queen Victoria Street, near Company’s Garden. We asked questions about the process of transferring city land to the parks department and what it would mean for the community’s use of this land. We learned that the transfer of land is quite possible, and once it is done an agreement is feasible for the community garden. Pauline was very helpful in explaining how this works and giving us an additional contact for the area manager for the Maitland Garden Village and Oude Molen area.

  • Learned that transferring land from the property department to parks can happen within several months.
  • Learned the community will be in full control of the management with one representative working as a liaison to a city representative.
  • Pauline was interested in our project and didn’t think there would be major obstacles in carrying it through.
Read more of Scene Five here.

Scene Six Summary

Our team was invited by Megan Lukas to present our project to the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP) Steering Committee meeting. We were able to meet other stakeholders within TRUP and learn what other members of the committee had envisioned for the land’s future. We also received helpful feedback and contact information for our pathway vision.

  • Presented project to TRUP Steering Committee
  • Received suggestions for direction for next steps such as speaking to other community leaders
  • Heard other stakeholder’s visions for TRUP
  • Met Alderman Brian Watkyns and made plans to have a future meetings regarding the driving range land and interested stakeholders, such as the Residents’ Association
Read more of Scene Six here.


This week, we learned more of the challenges and logistical issues that our team would face while trying to move the project forward. We learned that other uses for the water hyacinth weren’t as realistic as we’d originally thought, which meant this idea couldn’t be pursued much further. After speaking with Pauline, we felt that the transfer of driving range land was possible, once all of the community leaders and stakeholders were in agreement on how the land could be shared. In addition, the proposal for the pathway made progress with more feedback from our sponsors and the maps that will serve as clear visuals for the pathway design. This is helping us move forward with format for the proposal, which we are currently drafting.

Our biggest learning experience of the week was at the Two Rivers Urban Park Steering Committee meeting. We sat and listened to other presentations, and then were able to present our project to a mix of city and provincial representatives. Afterward, we received a mix of positive and critical feedback, which our team will incorporate into our planning moving forward.