Scene 9: Final Stakeholder Meeting


This was to be the last of our large stakeholder meetings, which had the majority of possible stakeholders present for a large discussion.  Past meetings had uncovered or dealt with significant issues, like the possible conflict between the City’s infrastructure plan and CORC’s layout proposal.  Shortly before this meeting we were informed that CORC and ISN wanted to ensure that there was a community contribution for the future crèche despite the large pool of available funding, something that we had not considered previously.

Cast of Characters

WPI Project Team
WPI Professors: Scott Jiusto, Lorraine Higgins
Cape Town Employees: Levona Powell, Reggie O’Brien, Estralita Kwalo, Anneline Plaaitjies
Student Co-Researchers Carin, Mekyle
CORC Representative Sizwe
ISN Representatives Melanie, Terrence
Flamingo PSC Members Elizabeth, Mark


A corner of Flamingo Crescent next to a tap, with several chairs and previously constructed tyre play elements huddled in a circle for seating.


Stakeholders engaging in conversation

Stakeholders engaging in conversation

After several minutes of arranging tyre cubes and chairs, we were able to get the group of almost stakeholders arranged in a circle. The conversation immediately turned to the fledgling crèche plans. Melanie from ISN explained how a community contribution was necessary to keep this component of reblocking within their standards and make the community feel invested in the structure. ISN had the standard of the community contributing at minimum 10% of the cost of any public structure that will be constructed as a result of the reblocking. Levona disagreed with ISN’s insistence of a monetary contribution, suggesting instead a combination of community labor and material or logistical support, such as providing books and toys for the children. Elizabeth said that while the community would certainly provide various kinds of support, money would be a serious stumbling block but not necessarily impossible if deemed necessary for them to have a crèche built.

The conversation went back and forth for some time, at which point it was decided that WPI should take responsibility for presenting the crèche so that it would not have to fall within the realm of the City’s or ISN’s requirements, although some combination of monetary and other support would be required from the community.

At this point Levona made a long, emotional goodbye to the team, in case she was not able to see us again before we left. She thanked her team, the community leaders, and us for contributing to the project, and expressed hope that she would be able to work with WPI students in coming years. She then had to leave in order to make it to another meeting.

After Levona’s departure we began discussing the possibility of producing some documents outlining the relocation process of households who are in the way of construction, although the specific information presented was not yet clear. It was decided to have some members of the team talk to Sizwe about it later, rather than spend more time in the meeting discussing it. Finally, Scott emphasized for the team to focus on what had already been committed to, even with these potential new assignments.


It was unexpected to go into a meeting thinking that most of our work was completed, and come out of it with new tasks, so close to the end of our project. Although the crèche proposal had been mentioned, it was not clear that we were solely responsible for generating the document and the idea of a construction timeline or at the least an account of how to relocate people had been quickly spoken about but not further evaluated towards the beginning of our time in Flamingo. We would later find out that these tasks were very doable, but it was a bit overwhelming initially. Until this point we had thought of ourselves as only networking for the possibility of a crèche, since it wouldn’t be built anywhere near the time period of us being in Flamingo, but this repositioning of the initiative as a primarily WPI-backed enterprise surprised us.

Many of us were expecting turns of event often in IQP but some were feeling a bit panicky after this meeting. Once it was discussed however, it was made clear that this proposal would be a joint effort from our members and it was made clear from our advisers that this would be a simple two page, informative document. Deciding that we would be mainly focusing on our current work before including these other deliverables also made us feel a bit more in control of the situation.  Nearing the end of IQP has been stressful for everyone in our group but as we have continued to generate our work and see the finished products we have realized that, despite all the changes in our project, we have done something significant and worthwhile.