Nick Talbot on behalf of People’s Environmental Planning.
Over the last 5 years PEP has provided socio-technical support to the residents of Vukuzenzele in order to facilitate the transfer of title of 236 houses to their respective owners. This was achieved through a close working relationship with the local committee and community.
With nearly 18 years passing since construction first commenced in Vukuzenzele, a new generation of residents is now reaching maturity. This younger demographic are rapidly becoming relied upon as active contributors to the community, and will imminently need their own living space. With this in mind, PEP embarked on a pilot workshop program to capacitate the youth of Vukuzenzele so that they could make well-informed decisions about their future housing arrangements and grow into their roles as responsible community members.
The workshops were intricately designed to be responsive to the local context of Vukuzenzele, while simultaneously broadening the participants’ awareness of different housing typologies and community issues throughout the broader Cape region. This included a minibus trip, which provided visuals and a real experience of all of the topics discussed throughout the program.
The age range targeted was 16-21 years old, with strong attendance throughout the whole six weeks. The pilot had a strong emphasis on engaging the youth through participatory, interactive and gamified methods. Therefore, rather than being prescriptive, the content and succession of the workshops was continually adapted to address emerging desires or technical complexities experienced by participants. In this way, a great depth of conceptual and technical learning was achieved. The students will be presenting what they have learnt to the local community as part of an open workshop, and will receive a certificate for successful completion of the program.
At the time of writing, it is not possible to say what effect the increased capacity will have on the community of Vukuzenzele, or how useful the new information will be when deciding upon their personal housing arrangements. However, a noticeable change in attitudes and understanding has been well documented in various forms of media, and the youth group are keen for workshops to be held in future to expand upon certain issues.
The girls demonstrating their dissatisfaction with the shortage of gender equal public space. Especially the lack of a netball court, as the communal field is used for men’s football matches at most times.