Cape Town - Gege’s Crèche in Langa has gone green, boasting new features which include a vertical garden which allows the crèche to grow its own vegetables.
The City of Cape Town unveiled the revamped crèche, hailing it as a way to help tackle food security issues.
Plants are grown on specially designed structures on the sun-facing wall of the building. The crèche is already growing tomatoes, cabbages and beetroot.
Crèche principal Lungiswa Jikolo said she and the children were looking forward to being able to grow their own vegetables.
“It is like a miracle for us. We will always look after our garden and hope that this initiative can be spread to other crèches across the city.
“The children are really looking forward to tasting the vegetables they helped grow when they are ready in a week or two.”
The structure was built on Mandela Day as a way to give back to Langa and the parents of the crèche, which was adopted by the city in 2011.
It was built at the Handsprings workshop and assembled within a day at its new home.
The project was undertaken in partnership with Stephen Lamb of the Touching the Earth Lightly organisation, the Handsprings Puppet Company, Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation, and several other organisations.
Lamb said the building offered a proactive solution to housing and food security in South Africa.
“The structure has fire-resistant boards inside to prevent a fire from spreading to nearby structures, it is raised off the ground to prevent or reduce flooding, and the sun-facing wall is used to grow vegetables. There is often little space in the townships, but by using the walls of the shacks you can open up a vast amount of arable space for farming.
“We hope to apply these principles in shacks in areas like Nyanga and Philippi.”
Xanthea Limberg, chairwoman of the city’s economic, environmental and spatial planning portfolio committee, said they were proud to be involved in the initiative.
“This project also serves as an example of the power of partnerships, and extends our image as a caring city.” - Weekend Argus