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Kloof residents proactively green, clean and beautify suburb

Published Dec 22, 2018

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Durban - Planting 80 indigenous trees along the railway line is the latest step by volunteers of The Kloof Project in keeping their suburb a place to be proud to call home.

And it’s not only about trees - whether it’s cutting grass verges, landscaping islands in the middle of the road, maintaining flower beds or simply picking up rubbish - the volunteers keep the central Kloof Village area, from Pioneer Road to Park Lane, looking clean and green.

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Other suburbs in and around Durban are following suit, with residents becoming proactive in cleaning up and beautifying their areas.

Taking the Independent on Saturday on a quick tour this week, The Kloof Project members, Chris Dalzell and Sandra Wickee, said they have 12 volunteers and employ three gardeners a week, with the help of sponsorships from local businesses.

They have 14 local companies which support gardens on verges, islands and in parks.

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Dalzell, a landscape designer, also volunteers his time and the assistance of two of his staff when it comes to landscaping. Plants come from cuttings - from their own gardens.

Apart from landscaping and maintenance of gardens and beds in public spaces, Dalzell said: “We clean rubbish and graffiti, take down illegal posters to keep the village clean and tidy.”

The latest project, The Railway Action Group, is a collaborative effort with Kloof CPF and Hillcrest Conservancy to get the railway line visually open, free of litter and alien invasive plants.

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The goal is to clean up the areas along the railway line and create a path for walking or cycling.

Wickee said: “Last Saturday we planted 80 indigenous trees along the railway line and we are putting in a path.

“We want the community to get involved and slowly people are becoming aware of what we are doing.”

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Other suburbs, such as Westville and Durban North are following suit.

Westville resident, Margaret Daniel said they have had extensive meetings with members of The Kloof Project.

“We are in the process at the moment of getting it on the go. Our Westville Conservancy group is already very active but Westville is a big suburb and their resources are limited, so we will work in tandem with the conservancy

“It’s all part of making people interested in making their suburb better. We’ll also start with Westville CBD and from the beginning of the year it will be full steam ahead,” said Daniel.

She added they already work well with the municipality - when it comes to clearing rubbish and similar issues.

Having also engaged with the municipality, Durban North’s Anton Koch said they have started the Enviro Fixers group, also focusing on public spaces around the suburb.

“We have been working all over Durban North and we want to transform areas which have been neglected. We are also trying to incorporate residents from informal settlements to find employment for them in the eco-tourism sector.

“We also want to create corridors to cycle through. People are putting their hands up to come and help and our goal is to make our ward the most liveable in the city,” said Koch.

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