Photo Credit: Mini Meltdown

The Wagenaar’s faced a few scary moments when they were threatened and had their Mini burned because they fed the homeless but they pushed through and love won!


Sea Point, South Africa (11 November 2020) – At the start of the hard lockdown, someone set Peter and Lesley Wagenaar’s Mini Cooper alight. Their reason? There had been some community unrest towards the Wagenaar’s for feeding the homeless, despite them having all the legal permits to do so.

As with any community, people will have different viewpoints about how situations should be handled. Many choose to lead with love, others do not. Despite having their car torched, a clear message for them to stop feeding the homeless, the Wagenaar’s chose to continue spreading love. The burning of their car was just one of many attempts to get them to stop feeding those in need during the lockdown.

All efforts were in vain though as both Peter and Lesley became emboldened in their efforts to feed those in need. Their mini, became a beacon of hope and so those in the community that believed in their cause, spread the love even further.

“Rather than deterring the Wagenaar’s (who continued to provide daily home-cooked meals, made with love), the Mini Meltdown became a beacon of love, light and hope that communities can work together in a crisis. Instead of stopping people from giving, it inspired others who wanted to help through the Covid-19 pandemic. Love always wins!

The Mini has now undergone a complete ‘Makeover’ and has been transformed into a beautiful artwork by the talented Alicia McFadzean (Cheeky Observer). In its new life, it will function as a mobile artwork, a ‘medium’ for conflict resolution and a ‘vehicle’ to raise funds for social welfare enhancing projects.”

The Mini will be unveiled at the upcoming Mini-Market, which takes place from 9 am to 1 pm on the 15th of November and is a fundraiser for the Seaboard-Gugulethu CAN partnership. The unveiling will take place at the Sea Point Promenade (Rocklands Playpark) at 11 am on the 15th of November 2020.

The market is being held for charity and will offer books, houseplants, clothes, masks, Mini-Meltdown apparel, Christmas decorations and jewellery, as well as freshly baked goods, and organic vegetables from local farmers.

All funds will go to supporting joint activities by the Seaboard and Gugulethu CANs, Souper Troopers and MiniMeltdown. This includes the provision of food and clothing alongside psychosocial support to vulnerable Seaboard residents and Gugulethu households. This partnership has built a bridge of solidarity between different areas of Cape Town, working towards a better, safer, less divided city.

The organisations work in the following areas: 

Food security.

We run 18 community kitchens providing 3000 meals per day in Gugulethu and the Seaboard, and have provided nearly 800 vouchers to vulnerable households. #MiniMeltdown provides food and food parcels every Saturday on the Seaboard.

Economic development.

In order for our interventions to be sustainable, we aim to put cash into local economies. Our vouchers have channelled R78 000 to veggie vendors in Gugulethu, and the kitchens have revived demand for a local bakery. We also provide job search support.


15 gardens have been created in Gugulethu and two on the Seaboard. These create green spaces and contribute to the community kitchens.

Social welfare.

We have employed a social worker to help homeless people get IDs (an important first step in order to be able to leave the street) and access EPWP (government work programme) contracts.

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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