Development programme empowers communities as food producers

04 Aug 2022 in Where We Govern

Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg handed over food gardening tools for a community project in Crossroads, Nyanga and is pleased to report that efforts to stimulate food production at a household level are showing promising results, and has the potential to provide income support to many Cape Town communities.

During the national lockdown, many families experienced severe economic hardship as a result of businesses closing or being unable to operate, and have had to explore alternative ways to generate income.

In order to assist, the City’s Community Development Worker (CDW) Programme, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Local Government, has supported and helped to stimulate various projects which can give communities income support. Projects that have received support to date include a tar making business, a beadwork collective and a business manufacturing cement garden pots/sculptures and more.

One of the CDW programme’s most exciting initiatives is a project to support residents growing their own food in their gardens, and thereby encouraging others to do the same. So far, 50 households spread across Atlantis, Philippi, Nyanga and Samora Machel are participating. The City has provided wheelbarrows, seeds, compost, gardening hand tools, spades, rakes and a watering can to participating families and communities. The City has also linked this project with the rollout of home composting containers and is providing composting tools and training for participants to make their own compost.

Participants in the project are not only eating the produce to save money, but are also selling and trading in their communities, stimulating the local economy.

The budget for the programme in 2021/22 was R80 000, and a further R100 000 has been allocated to expand the project in this financial year.

‘Clearly, food gardening has enormous potential to empower communities, and when combined with a composting programme, this also has environmental benefits as a result of reducing organic waste, which is disposed of at landfill sites. It makes total sense for the City to be encouraging this practice wherever possible, and I am hopeful that this story will inspire many more residents to get in touch with their inner farmer,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.

The City has resources on our website which can provide guidance for first-time farmers: and home/greener-living/green-gardening-and-eating/what-to-grow-in-your-food-garden