Mayoral committee member for Urban Management at the City of Cape Town, Grant Twigg joined the pavement garden conversation, encouraging food gardens.
Cape Town, South Africa (16 September 2021) – A conversation about growing vegetables in a country with so much hunger and poverty and how it could possibly be a crime has been started. It is a conversation that has been fuelled by Djo BeNkuna and his cabbage patch.
It all started when Djo took to Facebook to share his encounter with the Tshwane Metro over the cabbages he was growing in front of his home. The post quickly went viral and before long, gardeners and everyday citizens united, planting vegetable gardens on their pavements and creating a support group.
The City of Cape Town has joined the conversation to let their residents know that they totally support converting unused spaces into vegetable gardens as long as they do not block walkways or access. Grant Twigg, the mayoral committee member for urban management was interviewed by Cape Talk and explained that usually unused spaces become dumpsites.
Dumpsites lead to unsavoury behaviour so filling those spaces with food that can be used to support others, earn incomes, and educate others is a huge positive.
“From our side, we would encourage people to do exactly what the gentleman did, because one of the things we are encouraging is that people look after the area immediately adjacent to their property.”
“When people do not look after the spaces adjacent to properties, they often become dumping sites.”
“Within the City of Cape Town, we have got food gardens and in some areas, we are encouraging people to plant flowers”- Grant Twigg, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management – City of Cape Town
This conversation has highlighted groups like Sidewalk Food Gardens SA and others that promote the hobby of gardening for yourself and others.
We hope other cities adopt the same stance towards vegetable and flower gardens. It could easily solve many of the food-related issues South Africans face.