As initially set out in the business plan of the SRBID, the work of the SRBID includes urban beautification. After initially focusing on crime and grime the SRBID reached a stage where some of the urban beautification projects could be launched.
Here’s a quick update on two of the programmes:
Poster removal and painting
Many of the lamp posts and street sign posts in Salt River had been very old and had either become rusted or had simply not received a coat of paint for far too long – until a team from the GROW Job and Life Rehabilitation Programme, employed by the Salt River CID, got stuck in and started introducing the much needed cosmetic touch-up operations.
GROW (‘God Restores Our World’) is the job rehabilitation programme of MES (Mould, Empower, Serve), a country-wide organisation which in turn has the vision ‘To change the heart of the city’ and the mission ‘To empower people holistically to live independent, sustainable and meaningful lives.
According to the MES website, the GROW Job and Life Rehabilitation Programme creates shift opportunities where cash is earned for work done, whilst being part of a coaching and developmental programme. It provides the homeless and unemployed community an alternative to aggressive begging and petty crime.
Participants in the programme are enabled by earning an honest income in cash, to restore their dignity, buy their meals from the MES canteen, pay for overnight shelter accommodation, apply for ID’s and even save.
In turn, GROW teaches participants to be diligent and disciplined, as well as empowering them with the skills to seek employment. The GROW programme is primarily supported through the occupational services provided to clients such as the respective CID’s.
In terms of the MES principles and the universal application of the Social Work Action Team concept, Geocentric offers this shift employment by using work teams for the beautification of CID’s. In the case of Salt River the teams are used predominantly for graffiti removal and for the painting of lamp posts and street sign poles. Many of the poles had also been defaced by illegal posters. “So, using specialised paint and our SWAT team, we have beautified all these elements,” says Geocentric general manager Ralph van der Brock. “The result is a clean and well maintained urban environment.”
Cape Town is currently experiencing one of worst and longest droughts and this would ordinarily place a halt to all beautification that include landscaping and greening initiatives.
However, Management company Geocentric decided to continue with beautification through the use of “potted gardens” rather than traditional landscaping work.
Large concrete pots were sourced from local suppliers in Maitland and placed at various locations in the SRBID
By grouping a number of these large planters together the impression of a potted garden was created. These pots are easy to maintain and even easier to keep watered – the contained environment makes it easy to keep the plants green with limited water resources.
Combining this with some hardy plants a beautiful green spot can be created.
Geocentric invested in a large number of water storage tanks before the recent winter months and harvested more than 80 000 liters of water during the limited rains that fell during the winter months
Now, using our custom built water truck, we are able to water our potted gardens with rain water harvested earlier in the year thereby sustaining our greening projects. We have competed three such projects in SRBID already and plan to do the next project in Yew Street Park