Changing Lives through Food Security
|Profile: Community Gardens in the
Uitkyk Area (26° 14’ S; 25° 35’E)
1. Due to the decrease of commercial agriculture in the areas surrounding
the former Bophuthatswana region of Uitkyk, Deelpan, Mooifontein and
Gelukspan in the early years of this decade, the villages in this region received a
substantial influx of unemployed families seeking a living after the termination of
these commercial agricultural activities.
2. To sustain members of these communities, who really face starvation if
they do not receive some help, the Reformed Setswana Congregation of the
Uitkyk area commenced with a feeding scheme themselves. This scheme nourish
these people while they are coached and supported to become self sustainable
again through a number of proven action plans, of which community gardens
form a prominent component.
3. These Community Gardens were established during the past 3 years to
produce vegetables for use by the Feeding Scheme of the Reformed Setswana
Congregation in the Uitkyk area. Startup funding and support were provided by
Southern Cross Missions, a Faith based NGO operating in the NW and Northern
Cape provinces (www.southerncrossmissions.net). Due to the commitment of the
Uitkyk congregation under the dynamic leadership of Rev Ezekiel Pelele, the
complete feeding scheme and project is managed effectively by the selected team
of the congregation themselves since 2005.
Locality Number of Staff Water provision Year Started
1. Uitkyk 1 14 Bore hole and tank End 2006
2. Goedgevonden 7 Hand pump Aug 2008
3. Uitkyk 2 7 Hand pump Aug 2008
4. Noupoort 3 Hand pump Aug 2008
5. Uitkyk 3 3 Hand pump Aug 2008
6. Bathobatho 3 Bore hole + tank Aug 2009
- The congregation has a small cold storage facility where the vegetables may be kept for a short while. A total of 400
cabbage was harvested on 22 Sep 09 for distribution during the coming weekend.
- NWK Mareetsane is involved on a small scale.
- All the plots had to be fenced to keep the goats & other livestock out before operations could commence.
- All work is presently done by hand.
- The MaricoFresh vegetable project from Groot Marico assists with seedlings from time to time as well as additional
produce to supplement the Uitkyk efforts.
- A seventh plot was considered at Deelpan, but due to the high calcite contents of the soil, it was decided to start with
tower gardens using stacked tires in the near future. In the mean time Uitkyk 1 is providing produce to Deelpan.
The road ahead. The local project team plans to
- Commence on a further 4 to 5 plots as soon as a permanent water supply to each plot can be secured.
- Re-activate the large plot at the Gelukspan Hospital once the applicable authorities give the green light and the
needed materials to repair the water system can be secured.
- Introduce a dairy as well as a poultry arm (eggs) in future as these produce are nearly unavailable in the vicinity.
- Expand the existing operations to the level where the venture will produce sufficiently to generate a living wage for all
4. The purpose of these gardens, which are each manage by a small
team are threefold:
4.1. firstly to provide fresh vegetables for distribution by the
4.2. and secondly to provide constructive employment to
community members. These staff members don’t receive any
monetary remuneration, but may provide in their own need for
vegetables from these gardens while
4.3. the families receiving food, also must pitch in until they
become self supporting through other means again.