Woodstock DIY

Woodstock DIYAfter the holiday decorations have been packed away, the house is left feeling bare and kind of boring – and so the challenge of decorating looms.

The start of the year is the best time for a fresh start. So how about revamping your home office, bathroom or kids’ room for a fresh new look?

Woodstock is Cape Town’s centre of making and design – harking back to its history of being a hub of industrial activity. These days, Woodstock is your go-to-destination for all things DIY. Here are some of our favourite stops.

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Woodstock craft beer breweries and distilleries that should be on your to-do list

The Woodstock / Salt River area has become a hub (or should that be hop?) of craft beer activity. We love our community, and we love local businesses. When the two come together the local economy, and value of the area, is maintained and even improved. When further combined with an unusual and enjoyable pint, those benefits taste even better! We’ve put together a list of our top Woodstock craft beer breweries and distilleries to encourage you to stop by for a quick pint after work, or why not make a weekend of visiting all of them?

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Christmas Gift Guide 2019

Christmas Gift Guide

Shopping for Christmas gifts in Cape Town can be a daunting and stressful experience – shopping malls are crowded, parking is a nightmare and all too often you end up leaving with nothing you actually wanted.

Fear no more! Here is a list of the best Christmas markets in Cape Town, where you can enjoy delicious food, wine, and a festive vibe while you shop for unique, artisanal gifts. Continue reading

Woodstock Design District – 5 creative businesses to know

Woodstock has long had a reputation for being a hub of industry, design and manufacture. In a new social media series, we’ve been featuring our local creative businesses, coined to be part of the Woodstock Design District. Now we curate our top five for 2019, which we have selected to feature across a range of design and art businesses across the creative sectors. This series was inspired by The Woodstock Design District Map, a curated guide to the Cape Town neighbourhood with the highest density of design studios and art galleries in the country, created by the Guild Group and Monday Design.

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Woodstock history and Heritage Day

Heritage is a hugely complex and nebulous concept, with its meaning and relevance varying from person to person. Knowing our own history, or the history of our culture, is vital as it helps us to know who we are while we are molding our future.

Woodstock is one of the oldest suburbs in The Mother City that has adopted so many identities over the centuries and which is so rich in culture that plays a big part of our South African History. During the mid-1800s Woodstock became a small fishing hamlet. During the British occupation of the Cape, the English left their influence in road names like Victoria and Albert and rows of brick terraced houses reminiscent of those in an English town. Despite various iterations of inhabitants Woodstock has always been a racially and religiously mixed community, a place where white, black and mixed race people, Jews, Christians and Muslims lived side by side. While bulldozers destroyed its similarly diverse neighbor, District Six, during Apartheid, somehow Woodstock remained untouched and avoided forced removal of ethnic inhabitants.

As we embrace an incredible mix of diversity and cultures combined to make this neighbourhood so vibrant – a bustling blend of food, fashion, arts, and design we also take a moment to celebrate it’s heritage in light of Heritage Day on 24 September 2019.
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Bloomlane – a garden in the city

We are proud to announce that Woodstock is home to a number of projects which allow residents to engage in the process of local renovation and renewal. Our mission is to improve the area sustainably, from the roots up.

One of the projects that we are achieving this vision through is the pilot project collaboration with Streetscapes, where homeless people are given the opportunity to tend gardens and sell the produce for profit. This project served as a catalyst for other developmental projects in the area which have the potential to change the social and physical landscape of Woodstock.

The most recent of these innovations is the transformation of Hanwell Lane into an urban garden which will benefit the community.

What is the project about?

The project aims to create an urban food garden in Hanwell Lane, Woodstock. The garden will give people the techniques and space to grow fresh produce for feeding programmes. It will also be an area where community members can support one another through interaction and skill sharing. The main aim is to create a productive environment to empower the community. The hope is that this model will be applied in other suburbs throughout Cape Town.

What prompted the project?

The project was born out of the vision of Mr Graeme Allen. He lives next to Hanwell Lane and was frustrated by the level of vandalism and illegal dumping of waste in the street. He refused to believe this was the only option, and obtained a lease for Hanwell Lane to establish a community garden.

Mr Allen then spent six months communicating with other residents and the City Roads and Planning department to create a plan. This blueprint was then shared with homeowners in Roodebloem Road, Roberts Road, Beacontree Lane and Hillyard Street where local support was harvested. Eventually an agreement was signed by many local residents to turn Hanwell Lane into a community garden.

Who are the stakeholders?

This project is an example of what can be achieved in a community through collaboration. Mr. Allen has garnered support from invested partnership who are willing to see the project through to the end.

Connective Collective (CC) – a collection of people who provide platforms for sustainable community engagement. Their goal is to facilitate citizens in building communities that live in harmony with the earth.

Guerilla House – an urban permaculture training platform that educates and equips citizens using affordable regenerative technologies. They specialise in creating and running organic food gardens, water harvesting, soil building, animal systems, mushroom cultivation, grey water systems, alternative building technologies and waste regeneration.

Community – people living between Hilyard and Salisbury Streets, Roodebloem and Roberts Roads, and those that use Hanwell Lane for thoroughfare. They are encouraged to take ownership of the lane and invest where possible so that they can benefit from it flourishing.

Contributors – property owners neighbouring Hanwell Lane have contributed to the cost of gates and the further development of the project.

Woodstock Improvement District (WID) – we aim to utilise the community garden project to extend our social outreach programme.

Woodstock Residents Association​ (WRA) – facilitates engagement between local authorities and residents living in Woodstock. They provide a platform to share information, discuss differences and solve problems in the community.

 

What is the vision for this community project?

The ideal outcome is a community garden that benefits all who live and work in the neighbourhood. The lane will serve as a meeting space where people can interact, educational workshops can be held and resiliency skills can be obtained by anyone who would like to learn.

The partners are aware of the challenges this public space may encounter, and there are discussions underway on how best to approach potential problems. If you would like to view the vision for this project please contact ConnectiveCollective through one of the Public Participation Process (PPP) channels (see below) and we will forward you the full proposal. Feedback, both for and against, is welcomed as we would like to understand and communicate the community’s views.

Below are the various PPP channels that can be utilised to voice opinions or ask further questions about the project:

  • The email address hanwellgarden@gmail.com (which will also be displayed in the lane).
  • A post box in the lane for residents to hand write and deliver your views.
  • A telephone number, which residents can contact, and a WhatsApp group/ SMS group which residents can join to receive information about the project.
  • A Facebook page where residents can post their views and find more information about the project.

Here’s how to help your neighbourhood flourish

“I told no-one about the trouble I was in – not my wife, father, or my two brothers.” Ali* was riddled with shame and guilt when the pressure to provide for his wife and two children led to significant debt. Eventually, he lost his job as a call centre manager, and the weight of these mounting troubles combined with the fear of sharing his burdens led to Ali ending up on the street.

Thankfully, this story ends well! Ali* found help at the Haven shelter and became an employee. Now he earns a living by helping others that have gone through similar difficulties and impacting their actions. This story illustrates the ease with which external circumstances can spiral out of control and lead people to seemingly hopeless situations. Whatever the cause of their problems, with the right guidance, lives can be turned around.

Businesses are in the perfect position to provide the financial support that could help to change the face of our city. By contributing to organisations dedicated to assisting the homeless, we can help pick up those who are struggling in our society.

The immediate benefit is not only a better quality of life for those in need, but also, a more approachable storefront for business owners. This will be due to the lessening of informal squatting outside businesses due to people being housed in shelters which provide them with warm beds to sleep in.

It is important that the problem of homelessness be addressed with full focus. In a press briefing held by Councillor Suzette Little at the Civic Centre in 2015, the Mayoral committee member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development estimated that there were 7,383 homeless people in Cape Town. Of these, only about 2,521 sleep in shelters. Consequently, more than two-thirds are not accessing the tools and organisations to help them resolve their situation.

That is why we are encouraging citizens to give responsibly. Sporadic, unplanned giving only enables street living. If people are making money through begging and selling the latest trinket or sticker for small change, they may be deterred from approaching shelters for help. This is especially concerning as winter is on our doorstep, and many will be left out in the cold.

We believe whole-heartedly that lives can be changed with appropriate guidance. Shelters often have councillors and social workers on hand to help. In the case of local shelters, financial contributions can assist with the purchase of beds, bedding, food and toiletries, or salaries for councillors and staff, as well as rent for the space.

One of the projects we are currently involved in gives the homeless an opportunity to tend gardens in the city and live off the profit they earn, which is deposited into their bank accounts for safety. We run this project in conjunction with Streetscapes and are encouraged by the positive results so far. In this case, financial support from local businesses will help fund the fencing, compost, tools and seeds for the gardens.

In summary, we want to appeal to Woodstock businesses and community members to support the shelters and projects around the Woodstock area, and get involved with the local initiatives. Together we can help people like Ali* get back on their feet and positively influence our economy and the well-being of our beloved city.

*Name changed for privacy purposes.

Contact these shelters to be part of the change in Woodstock:

The D6 haven night shelter

021- 4627321

Email: sheila@haven.org.za

St. Anne’s

021- 4486792

Email: info@stanneshomes.org.za

Youth solutions

021 -4628006

Email: info@safyouth.org

Moira Henderson house

021 4612533

Email: lionel.adams@haven.org.za

Haven homes

021 4477422

Email: havenhomes@telkomsa.net

The Homestead

021 4617470

Email: https://homestead.org.za/contact/

Make it stop – illegal dumping has to go

Woodstock residents are struggling under the weight of waste. We are trying our best to keep up with the demand but it is an uphill battle. In this blog post, we take a look at one of the problems at the forefront of maintenance in Woodstock.

The Problem: Illegal Dumping

This includes not only rubbish, but also rubble. The practice costs Cape Town taxpayers millions of rands in maintenance on top of usual taxes. The last recorded amount readily available was mentioned in a Ground Up article in 2016 on illegal dumping. The estimated total was around R350 million a year, up by R150 million since 2013.

Not only does illegal dumping steal from taxpayers money, John Julies our Operations manager says that our cleaners’ efficiency is being compromised by constantly needing to deal with piles of illegally dumped waste/rubble. He claims that “it gives them less time to clean the main roads which in actual fact should be our main focus.” The cleaners can spend up to ±4 hours extra a day on trying to clear rubble that is haphazardly dumped all over the Woodstock area.

In order to deal with the problem correctly, our WID cleaning team will pick it up, take it to get weighed on the weighbridge in Tide street and transport it to the dumpsite. Again, wasting ratepayer’s valuable money and the WID cleaning services’ valuable time.

Frustration arises because of the fact that “residents have bins, but still dump their rubbish in the street” and this “contributes to up to 90 percent of the dumping in Woodstock” says Julies.

How it affects your business

As mentioned before, from a purely financial perspective, ratepayers that contribute to services being rendered are losing valuable money as constantly removing rubble is expensive. Other services are being neglected in the process. Rubbish strewn everywhere is also likely to discourage patronage to certain shops, which will significantly affect their revenue.

If not dealt with almost immediately, the wind carries waste into drain systems, creating blockages and water wastage in the area. This in turn, causes more problems as water wastage is, of course, no small issue in Cape Town.

Finally, there are very real health risks involved. On 22 April 2013, a three-year-old boy passed away after coming into contact with illegally dumped toxic waste in Delft. Although the waste found in Woodstock is not predominantly toxic, it does present real health risks. Especially to children who attend schools in the area, as well as being the breeding ground for disease.

The solution

The most proactive approach is to report illegal dumping to us, or fill in a C3 notification form. This will ensure that there is a public record kept of offences for future reference. Try to identify the vehicle’s registration number and/ or make of said vehicle so that they can be easily tracked.

Make sure that your business is following good practice and that your employees are aware of how to discard waste correctly. Encourage residents and patrons to take more care when discarding waste by putting up informative flyers or posters in your business. To help, Julies suggests that businesses and residents apply for a rubbish bin at the Civic centre in Cape Town. This will encourage others to do the same and make for a cleaner, safer society to benefit all residents and business owners in the long run.

Help stop illegal dumping and be rewarded

For any report on illegal dumping that leads to an arrest, there will be a R500 reward up for grabs.

Control room number to report: 021 462 1205

Illegal dumping hotspots to look out for:

  • Williams/Sussex
  • Williams/Station
  • Woodland Street
  • Pine Street
  • Beach road/Railway
  • Tide street
  • Bromwell street
  • Douglas Place
  • Aspeling street
  • Grey Street
  • Spring Street
  • Plein Street
  • Greatmorestreet
  • Devon street

Legal dumping spots:

https://goo.gl/UoJ7np

Game changers in the war on water wastage

There is much to be said about the fact that for the foreseeable future Day Zero should not become a reality. Capetonians are breathing a collective sigh of relief at not needing to queue for water anytime soon. The question remains, whose efforts led to staving off that dismal day?

Baseline Coffee

Coffee culture is serious business in Cape Town. Deon and Stacy, the founders of the Baseline coffee roastery, fully agree and live their slogan “Bad coffee shouldn’t happen to good people.”

Recent water saving ventures by this business have proved that they are as serious about conserving our most precious resource as they are about serving quality caffeine. The roastery has implemented changes including recyclable paper cups instead of ceramic, which save 60 litres of water a day previously used to wash cups.

A personal water meter has been installed so that they can monitor their water consumption. They also installed a 1000 litre water tank to supply their customers with non–municipal drinking water.

FCB Cape Town

This advertising agency has been around for a long time and stays ahead of the curve by keeping up to date with trends and evolving alongside the needs of the public.

If they’re half as creative with their campaigns as they have been with their water crisis strategies, we’ll all be buying their clients’ products in no time! They have made significant changes, starting with a move to bottled drinking water. This is also sometimes used for washing dishes.

The agency has also turned off the hydro boils in the kitchen and limited the use of the espresso machine to certain hours of the day. As a precautionary measure, they are also looking to replace crockery with recyclable or disposable alternatives.

The Test Kitchen

Winner of the best restaurant in the country not once but five times, we might have predicted that the innovative minds behind The Test Kitchen would get creative with their water conservation action plan!

Some of their changes include a complete overhaul of the menu to make food that can be prepared with less water and minimal sauces. Others include using the leftover melted ice to wash the floors and installing water saving taps.

The company has also collaborated with another Woodstock based business to serve food on plates that need no washing! Castle Framers constructed plates from obeche wood and coated them with nitrocellulose sealer to ensure the plate is water resistant. The clean look works well with the high – end customers at the restaurant, and every patron is doing their bit not to increase demands on our limited water resources.

We would like to congratulate these wonderful local businesses for taking responsibility and conserving water. Thanks to their efforts we hope to have water in our taps for the foreseeable future!

2017: Reflecting on small victories and big impact

In 2005 the Cape Town City Council approved a City Improvement District in Woodstock, and property owners rallied together to gather levies to fund it. Their efforts were successful, and the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) was formed.

Our mission is to “administer the area with dedicated, effective management, provide supplementary services to those already afforded by the City of Cape Town, and co-ordinate the provision of a well-maintained, safer, cleaner and greener environment for those who work, visit and invest in Woodstock.”

Looking back on 2017, we have made considerable progress in these areas, particularly in the fields of security and social work. Resident social worker Abigail Abrahams has led the campaign to assist the underprivileged community and affected much change in the area.

Abby has been integral in the practical aspects of helping those in need. She walks the streets to connect with people and learn about their needs. She has also established a working relationship with the WID drivers who refer her to areas where she is needed, based on their experiences on the ground.

In 2017, Abby assisted roughly 30 people every 2 weeks. She provided help in a number of areas – a typical week included providing advice and support with ID document processes, grant applications, typing up of CVs and just lending a sympathetic ear.

In one case, she was crucial in the repatriation of a minor with her family. She referred a 15-year-old girl, who had been sleeping on the street for 3 days, to the Department of Social Development. Thanks to this connection, the girl was then reunited with her relatives and returned home.

We are meticulous about detailing the activity of social work. The records for this year show a demonstrable impact on the community. These figures are hugely encouraging, and have informed a continued commitment to work in this necessary field over the coming years.

Another top priority in the area is security. The WID security team, in conjunction with the SAPS, have successfully apprehended criminals across many fields this year, including illegal squatters, thieves, illegal gamblers and substance distributors. The security team report suspicious behaviour and document the hotspots to help identify and arrest those who commit illegal acts.

Our security officers also went above and beyond to assist in the putting out of fires this year. This occurred 6 times one month according to an updated security report. The WID team is united by an ability to take initiative while showing care for the community and delivering their services with consistency.

Our goals for the following five years as laid out by our business plan read as follows:

– Keep Woodstock a clean and safe commercial area

– Maintain and improve working relationships with local authorities and essential service providers

– Provide innovative management of the area

– Lower the local crime rate

– Be sensitive to our social responsibilities

– Market Woodstock and preserve district identity

This seems idyllic, but is it possible in reality? The information about impact this year suggests these goals are achievable! For example, just this year, WID officers have prevented crime by providing an officer as a crime deterrent in numerous cases.

After reflecting on many separate social and security cases handled by the members of our team, we can say with confidence that if current standards are maintained, Woodstock should continue to go from strength to strength as a secure place for businesses and communities to flourish for years to come.