Meet the Cast of Characters

“Cast of Characters”

During our time in Cape Town, our team interacted with a large number of influential and contributing individuals. They each contributed something different, yet equally valuable, to our final product. Below are short bios of each of these people/groups:


Adi Kumar: Adi is representative from CORC who WPI project teams have worked closely with over the several years. He provided valuable insight into the community of Langrug, and aided us with understanding deeper issues seeded within the community members.

Alfred: Alfred is one of the community leaders in Langrug. He is someone who is able to gather the opinions of the community and voice them as a whole. The team was able to utilize Alfred as a communication facilitator quite a few times during the project work.

Amanda: Amanda is another one of the Langrug community co-researchers. Through our time in Langrug Amanda often helped to translate difficult conversations and was an active participant of the Project. She is also a member of the Sidiniwe Savings Group.

Andrew: Andrew is a representative from Touching the Earth Lightly, an NGO that is leading the new project site at the Zwelitsha WaSH facility. He helps oversee the construction of the facility.

Khungeka: Khungeka is another community member who played a strong role in the business operations team. She arrived a few weeks into the project, but had a strong presence from the start. She was a key leader of group discussion and also has the position of collector within the Sidiniwe Savings Group.

Kholeka: Kholeka is a community woman who has formed a strong relationship with WPI over the past years. She has participated in the past WaSH projects and continued her involvement this year. Kholeka is an active member of the Sidiniwe Savings Group and currently holds the role of collector (collection of monthly contributions). She was an active member of the team upon our arrival in Langrug, and while she later moved to work in Zwelitsha, she played a pivotal role in the early stages of the project.

Mama Nomthandazo: Mama Nomthandazo, or “Mama Thandi” is another one of the facility caretakers. She worked more closely with the WPI WaSH-UP services team, however she was often a part of our group conversations to offer valuable insight as a caretaker.

Mama Poto: Mama Poto is one of the three caretakers of the Mandela Park WaSH Facility. She has been working with the WPI project teams in the facility for a few years now. Mama Poto is responsible for maintaining the facility and its day-to-day operations. On top of her work in the facility, Mama Poto is also an involved community member as she is the treasurer of the community savings group, “Sidiniwe Savings Group”, and the community HIV support group.

Nobathembu: While she is not officially elected, Nobathembu is a strong leader within the Langrug Community. She owns and operates a fully operational and registered crèche, she is an active member of the Sidiniwe Savings group and also is the construction coordinator of the Zwelitsha facility.

Nomahala: Nomahala is a member of the Langrug co-researcher group. While she is not a member of the savings group or other community groups, she offered great contributions to our group and increased her involvement in the community through this project.

Sidiniwe Savings Group: Sidiniwe Savings Group is the newly formed savings group in the Langrug Community. It consists of approximately seven members, including many of our co-researchers. The members of the group whom we worked with are Mama Poto, Khungeka, Zodwa, Amanda, Nobathembu and Kholeka.


The women of the Sidiniwe Savings Group posing with an early draft of the constitution for the group.

Sizwe Mxobo: Sizwe is our liaison from our sponsor CORC. Throughout our first few hours with Sizwe, he introduced us to community leaders and acted as a communication facilitator, which included translating for the group. Sizwe acted as our connection to the community as well as a guide. Additionally, he helped give us an overview of the Zwelitsha facility as well during our first day.

Tandaka: Tandaka is also a representative from CORC. She is an employee in the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods, which is a group that works to create sustainable lifestyles and behaviours to support community upgrading. With sustainability being a key component of our project, the team hoped that Tandaka would be a major asset to the team.

Trevor: Trevor, another community leader, is currently the elected chairperson of the Langrug community. He acts as the voice of the community and helps to coordinate the community needs and concerns with CORC and the municipality. While Trevor was busy working to coordinate the construction of the Zwelitsha facility most of the time, he occasionally helped to further the projects in Mandela Park.

Victoria: Victoria is the third and final caretaker of the WaSH-UP facility. She has been a part of the program for a few years and has developed a strong relationship with the WPI project teams. She was away for some time in Eastern Cape attending to family matts in the past year, but she arrived back to Langrug halfway through our project ready to join the team once again.

WPI WaSH-UP Business Team: Our project team consists of 4 students: Nicole Baker, Stephanie Esmond, Konstantinos Georgiadis and Reed Gontarek.

WPI WaSH-UP Services Team: The services team is the other project team working in the Langrug facility this year. Our team worked closely and often collaborated with this four-student team. The team consists of Nathan George, Danielle Haley, Mollie Meyers and Heather Ullery.

WPI Advisors: Scott Jiusto and Steven McCauley are the two advisors of the WPI Cape Town Project Centre this year. The two of them played important roles in our project’s progress and offered valuable guidance and advice throughout the course of our time in Cape Town.

Zodwa: Zodwa is one of the younger women working in the group, but she has been a part of the WPI project team since it started in Langrug. Zodwa offered strong contributions to our project team and was a crucial member to the business team. She is also a member and the secretary of the Sidiniwe Savings Group.