Kliptown. A world where people live in the ruins of broken promises, in the shadows of the Freedom Charter. A shack settlement with no school, clinic, or library, best known for its raging fires, floods, and residents protesting for access to housing, electricity, and infrastructure.

But the spirit of the Kliptown Community will not be broken.

Khulisa has been actively involved in Kliptown for the past 13 years, supporting community members through mentorship, entrepreneurship development, support groups, skills development, and community outreach programmes.  Three years ago, Skin Renewal’s Gauteng team joined Khulisa’s upliftment programme in Kliptown and launched a number of innovative fundraising initiatives. The eight Gauteng branches each adopted a particular project that they have supported since the inception of their relationship with Kliptown.

The projects that they have invested in include the establishment and training of a Gogo sewing group;  a pop-up shop selling pre-loved items; and the imminent development of a children’s reading library.  The most significant of all is the creation of the Kliptown gardening project, which was initiated on a small piece of land in a resident’s backyard. Over time it became apparent that the garden was too small, and was recently extended to a piece of land donated by the City of Johannesburg in the heart of Kliptown.  The vision is to extend the project way beyond a vegetable garden, to ultimately become one of Kliptown’s first urban greening initiatives, which will create a mutually beneficial relationship between the residents of Kliptown and their environment.  In time this project aims to create living walls, green roofs and to provide nutritional domestic food gardens with community members being trained in various aspects of permaculture in order to promote food sustainability despite their adverse living conditions.

Through the support of Skin Renewal, a Zozo hut with recycled materials springs provides accommodation for a security guard that patrols the garden parameter.   The spinach, beans, spring onions, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, and cabbages are flourishing and are sold to an already established market, the local Soweto Hotel.  Says project leader, Kliptown resident, Priscilla Nkqwili:  “It’s tough living here. There’s no sense of privacy, there are many tourists wanting to visit this historic site and government officials who always plan initiatives that never come to fruition, but this will not be the case here.  This is going to become a flourishing haven of greenery and this is just the beginning.”

For further information contact:

LESLEY ANN VAN SELM    |   Managing Director

+27 (0)82 601 2299                   lesleyann@khulisa.org.za



Where we are heading: