With 21 people employed and 659 potholes fixed (and that’s just the start), it is safe to say Better Bedfordview is making a difference for the community – these are their successes from the past 18 months.
Bedfordview, South Africa (26 January 2024) – Community clean-up non-profit organisation (NPO) Better Bedfordview has big plans for 2024, including making an impact in more South African suburbs through its Better Neighbourhoods initiative.
The volunteers behind Better Bedfordview launched the Better Neighbourhoods concept last year and it is gaining momentum. According to Better Bedfordview chairperson Marina Constas, it is key to realising the NPO’s vision to “harness the collective power of engaged citizens to improve our neighbourhoods and ultimately South Africa, one suburb at a time”.
She says that the team is delighted with the growing interest in Better Neighbourhoods and the chance to share Better Bedfordview’s recipe for success with other suburbs. In 2023, Better Senderwood and Better Primrose joined the Better Neighbourhoods fold and Constas says that Better Fourways will come on board soon.
“In an era marked by the decline of municipalities and local governments globally, private organisations like Better Bedfordview are increasingly taking on crucial roles in maintaining neighbourhoods and developing and uniting communities. By actively engaging with residents and collaborating with local authorities, Better Bedfordview is creating a model for community empowerment and neighbourhood upliftment,” she says.
659 potholes fixed
In the 18 months since it was officially launched as an apolitical, registered NPO, Better Bedfordview has fixed 659 potholes, to make roads safer. The organisation has planted and maintained pretty roadside gardens. It has cleaned, weeded and repaired pavements. All of Bedfordview’s main roads are cleaned by Better Bedfordview, and speedbumps and kerbs are painted. The organisation depends on funding and support from residents and businesses.
21 people employed
Better Bedfordview provides employment for 21 previously unemployed people in its cleanup team. Some of them are currently funded by a business as part of its B-BBEE programme, through the Yes4Youth programme.
Uplifting the town hall precinct
One of Better Bedfordview’s key projects in 2024 is collaborating with the City of Ekurhuleni’s Real Estate Department to uplift the shabby and neglected precinct around the Bedfordview town hall. “We are committed to working hand-in-hand with the local authorities to transform this space into an attractive, vibrant hub that reflects the pride and identity of the community,” explained Constas.
She says that all of the entrances into Bedfordview will also be revitalised by Better Bedfordview this year. “We want to ensure that the entrances into our suburb are always clean, neat, attractive and well-maintained, to create a welcoming and uplifting environment for residents and visitors alike. It will set the tone for the entire neighbourhood and inspire other suburbs.”
Better Bedfordview plans to drive its Adopt-A-Pavement initiative this year. To date, three businesses, Insurance Zone, Bitventure and Bedford Centre, have partnered with Better Bedfordview to clean and maintain the pavements near their premises. Constas reports that this is making a huge difference.
Sources: Better Bedfordview – Supplied
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