Scene Three: TRUP Committee Meeting

The Two Rivers Urban Park Committee has regular meetings to discuss developments in the TRUP area. Megan Lukas arranged for our team to present our project on 9/11/2012.

Cast of Characters:
There were various members of the TRUP committee present including Sheila, Ronell and Martin from Maitland Garden Village. Liz McDaid was the chairperson who led the meeting.

The planning for this meeting involved creating a PowerPoint presentation. We were open to any suggestions for our project or questions that would reveal weak parts of our presentation. We were also interested to hear any feedback from our presentation so as to prepare for our upcoming meeting with the TRUP Steering Committee.

After congregating at Ronell’s house, we decided to walk over to the Envirocentre at twenty of two. Our group did not know the way there or how we were going to get there but we followed the group of people including Ronell, Sheila and Martin to the bridge in Oude Molen that spans the M5. Two people had walked past the gate right before we arrived so we walked up and told the guards that we had a meeting with the TRUP committee. The guard did not seem willing to let us pass and called another guard over. After some consultation, we signed a sheet with our names, visiting organisation and admittance time and started to cross the bridge. One the other side of the bridge, a few more security guards met us and pointed us in the right direction of the Envirocentre. We did not know exactly where it was but were able to find it on the other side of the premises.

We arrived a few minutes late to the meeting, which had just started with some introductions. The first presentation on the agenda was for Oude Molen Eco Village future development. We noticed about half way through the presentation that the familiarity with this project was because this was a project from a WPI group in 2011. The overall goal of this project is to present a different option to the Province from what their current plans are for Oude Molen. The next step on the agenda was Megan Lukas’ section which she allotted to our group presentation.

Although Liz offered for anyone to leave if they did not feel as though this project was relevant to them, everyone in attendance stayed. At the end of our presentation we asked for any questions, comments or suggestions for our presentation to the Steering Committee. One man suggested that we look into medicinal gardening as a way to link agriculture and heritage, though another comment was that this can be controversial. Another woman suggested that we think of a way to connect Langa and Oude Molen with a path because there is no way for them to travel easily between the two villages, like by bicycle. Another question addressed the three elements of our project (heritage, agriculture/tourism and pathway) but said she did not understand how they connected. We said that this is the challenge of our project and explained how agriculture can be located along the pathway or walking tours can be used to tell the history.

After our presentation, we stepped outside of the building with the WPI members and MGV members to discuss future plans and reflect on the presentation. Basil, who had also attended the meeting, suggested that we use maps as an integral part of this presentation. Scott also remarked that we need to describe the relationship between the ecological restoration of the river and community growth in a more important way. We all departed as our team took the Observatory train line home.

Crossing the bridge for the first time was really interesting for our group. It seemed completely unfair that others could cross the bridge just because they were familiar with the guards, which is what Ronell attributed their ease of passage to. It was also unexpected since we assumed the use of the facility for a meeting would make the area more accessible.

A common problem brought up in the meeting was communicating with the provincial government. We have seen these tensions before in our meeting with our sponsors, yet it was interesting to see it as a problem for other stakeholders.

Another exciting thing was to see WPI student work transcending the seven week period in Cape Town. Unfortunately, there is little information on how the project with Oude Molen is advancing despite the constant interest. When we presented, the audience seemed receptive to what we were trying to accomplish. Overall, it was refreshing to see such interest from a large group of people.

Future plans:

  • Edit our PowerPoint presentation based on the suggestions from the TRUP committee meeting.
  • Look into medicinal gardening by asking the MGV community.

To view the presentation from this meeting, click here [PDF, 566 KB]