Act Two: Developing Relationships

In Act Two, we attended our weekly meeting with our sponsors, conducted interviews about heritage and agriculture within the Maitland Garden Village community, presented to the Sustainable Livelihoods Network, and took a tour along the desire lines behind Oude Molen Eco Village with Martin.  We met many, potentially beneficial people to our project this week including Margaret, a member of Maitland Garden Village, members of the Economic Development Department, and Cindy Jacobs from the Sustainable Livelihoods Department.  Although we had already met Martin, we were able to start cultivating a relationship with him through interviewing and his guided tour along the Black River.  We also gained a list of contacts from Juan, Crispin and Megan within the City and TRUP.  This act shows a critical step in our project as we develop multiple relationships.

Scene One Summary

This is a scene on our weekly sponsor meeting with the City of Cape Town, members of Maitland Garden Village, Scott Jiusto and Bob Hersh.  In this meeting, we discussed the upcoming Steering committee meeting, potential contacts, Maitland Garden Village’s heritage and our final proposal.  From this, our future plans include attending multiple meetings to network and share this project and starting the proposal writing process.

  • Gained useful contacts in the government and potential departments we should work with
  • Learned that much housing in MGV is rented from the City
  • Talked about the benefits and potential hazards of making MGV a heritage area, specifically with respect to housing

Read more of Scene One here.

Scene Two Summary

Sheila and Ronell organised a community meeting with multiple MGV residents interested in history and gardening.  We listened to their history about MGV involved in WWI, the way MGV has changed and the role of gardening in MGV throughout the years. A common theme was how youth in the village have shifted attitudes from their youth, which sparked a debate on who was to blame for this change.  Overall, we gained some information on the history of gardening and gardening competitions in their village as well as the social changes in MGV.

  • Interviewed elderly, community members who were interested in MGV heritage and agriculture
  • Learned about the beginning of MGV as WWI soldier housing
  • Learned about the rift between the elderly community and youth due to changing mentality

Read more of Scene Two here.

Scene Three Summary

On 1 November 2012, Shahbaz and Sarah attended a Sustainable Livelihoods Network meeting at 44 Wale Street.  This was an open forum for different groups to present their ideas and report on progress since the past meeting.  Our group presented about the pathway, focusing on issues of job creation in Maitland Garden Village.  We received some useful input about our project and some connections in other NGOs and city departments.

  • Attended a Sustainable Livelihoods Network meeting to present the pathway project
  • Learned about the financial issues with rebuilding a pedestrian bridge over the M5
  • Walked on the rooftop garden at 44 Wale Street

Read more of Scene Three here.

Scene Four Summary

In this scene, our group walks along the desire lines running behind Oude Molen Eco Village, along the M5 expressway and back through Maitland Garden Village. This tour was guided by Martin, a resident of MGV and leader in the Green Light Project’s Gardening Club.  He showed us the different features along the desire lines such as the plant and bird life, different businesses around the river and areas where the river has changed.  During the walk, Martin gave us accounts of his personal experiences in MGV and travelling alone the desire lines.

  • Walked along the desire lines behind Oude Molen, along the M5 and back behind MGV to create a big circle
  • Learned how the land has changed over time, including the decline of bird life in the area
  • Gained an understanding of the difficulties of travelling along the desire lines

Read more of Scene Four here.


Through these interactions, we learned a lot about our project and the different challenges that may occur.  Balancing the different parties in a way that leaves each stakeholder pleased is a primary issue that arose this week.  We had to address the different visions for the pathway such as maintaining a focus on agriculture and creating a proposal around heritage.  We also learned more about the pedestrian bridge that members of Maitland Garden Village would like to see reinstated.  It is unlikely that funding for a new bridge will become available and we should think of alternative solutions that use existing structures.

It can also become overwhelming to think about contacting all the necessary departments and interested individuals, especially when we have such little time here in Cape Town.  We have started to divide the work between us so as to maximise our days.  Next week, we plan to bring the information from the suggested contacts to start writing proposals for the pathway and an agriculture business.