Scene 5: The People’s Place


In our advisor meetings, Scott suggested meeting David from Batho’s Place a few times. Scott had informed us that David was involved with public health training. We did not know anything else about him. We set up a meeting with him because we thought he might have some helpful suggestions to our improvement plan for the current facility. Kiddies joined us as they learned that David was also involved with some of the Langrug crèches.

Cast of Characters:

Kiddies group, WaSH group, David, active community member and manager of Batho’s Place


Batho’s Place, an African cuisine restaurant in Langrug.


We meet at Batho’s place, a restaurant in Langrug. The ground level of the restaurant is composed of the standard zinc sheets used to build most shacks in the community. It is splashed with a colorful mural of civil rights activists painted on it, most notably Nelson Mandela. The second level is a rooftop deck, with brightly colored metal chairs, umbrellas, and lounge chairs. The deck is bordered with recycled bed frames that create a railing. From the deck you can see all of Langrug, and the mountains and fields of the surrounding Stellenbosch area. These components create both a beautiful structure and restaurant that is aesthetically appropriate for an informal settlement.

David, the owner of Batho’s Place, greeted us warmly. He encouraged us to take pictures of his restaurant, and tag them to his Facebook page. When we asked him about the name of his restaurant, he said “Batho” means people. The restaurant serves the people. We sat down, and he spoke to us about his experience and involvement in the Langrug community while serving us food.

David told us how he began giving tours of informal settlements to tourist groups, sometimes without making a cent off them, in order to get visitors to donate money and food to the Langrug Child Development Trust. The trust benefits the children of Langrug and assists in the purchasing of materials to build crèches. He told us of Nobathembu’s role in the trust. For more information on David’s involvement in the crèches, click here.

David’s wife has been studying public health education, which ranges from crèche children to adults around the age of thirty-five. She is learning about HIV awareness as well, and prevention through education. His wife also does public health education programs for the Langrug community, and these are free of charge and out of goodwill. One program she did was at the crèches, showing kids how to make a tip-tap, which is a water bottle with a hole poked in the side that shoots out water when the cap is unscrewed, and stops running when the cap is on. We asked David what he thought of the idea of caretakers selling health products in the WaSH facility and doing some level of education for the community, and he thought it was a good idea. He said that if the caretakers wanted to all go to a public health training program, he would volunteer to watch over the facility while they were gone. He asked about the shower use and mentioned that there may need to be more advertising on the outside of the facility about its features, even just a big sign.

Joe described our current project in Zwelitsha, and David likes the idea of using dry sanitation. David was part of the group that visited the facility on Signal Hill, and he said that people at first wondered why there was no flush, and it took some time to understand the impracticalness of flush toilets in areas without proper sewage.

David emphasized the need for community volunteers in the work he does and the project that we are working on. He works to get the community to understand that they cannot better their situations without working for it.


It was interesting to learn about David and his role in the community. While he makes money off his restaurant, he is heavily invested in giving back to the community. We were impressed and amazed at David’s selflessness, what he has done for Langrug, and the many great ideas he continues to have for the betterment of the community. As for our current facility improvements, our exchange of ideas with David leads us to believe that he could support us in implementing public health training.