Gifts under R500 this Christmas

Gifts under R500 this Christmas

‘Tis the season for giving! We’re well aware that the price tags on some Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers can be downright scary. Yes, you love your family, but spending thousands of rands on gifts is pretty ridiculous – especially in an economic downturn!

So we’ve compiled a list of gifts under R500 to inspire your Festive Season gift shopping.

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Going local this festive season

Going local this festive season

This year Christmas will unlikely be the same. The tills won’t be ringing with the same vigour because of business closures along with the worst unemployment rate and retail spend in years, according to economists, retail analysts and trade unions.

But who’s to say we can’t have ourselves a Merry Christmas after all?

Despite everything that has transpired this year and all the stress we have been put under as a nation and globally, the festive season is a time of year that everyone looks forward to – and now that it is finally here we should not squander it!

Make the most of this holiday season by trying out our list of things to make and do and places to visit to put a boost in your holiday cheer.

Whatever route you choose, as long as you’ve got the spirit of Christmas in your heart, you really can’t go wrong.

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Heritage Day in communication and tourism

Heritage in South Africa: embracing differences in culture and visit some of our heritage sites for Tourism month

 

Heritage and tourism and communication

Heritage is something quite personal and changes from person to person. 

It is something that we as South Africans particularly find important to recognise because of the diversity of our people, identified in the formative years of our Democracy by Nelson Mandela and his new government.

In his address marking Heritage Day 1996, the late former State President Nelson Mandela said: “When our first democratically elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”

 Heritage Day is a day to remember and celebrate all the various South African cultures and their unique heritage. When people talk about South African heritage, they might be referring to anything from famous stretches of coastline in Kwazulu-Natal, to shweshwe fabric or veldskoen, to Bunny Chow, Bobotie, boerewors and beyond. Prior to 1995 Heritage Day was in fact called Shaka Day in commemoration of the Zulu King, while in 2005 a campaign sought to brand the day as National Braai Day with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu accepting his role of patron of South Africa’s braai day in 2007.

Honouring the diversity of our country’s people and recognising our differences and richness in all respective cultures is at the heart of South Africa’s beautiful uniqueness.

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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/