Tshwane women turn rubbish dump into vegetable garden

“We wanted to do something positive”

| By

What was a rubbish dump has been turned into a vegetable garden in Salvokop, Tshwane. Photo: Ezekiel Kekana

Two Tshwane women have turned a rubbish dump into a thriving little vegetable garden, growing spinach and mutshaina (African spinach).

During the Covid lockdown in 2020, Lufuno Doyoyo and Sinah Mudau decided to use a vacant piece of municipal land to grow food to sell in the community. With approval from the local councillor, they planted seeds on the small plot in Salvokop, just outside central Pretoria. “We wanted to do something positive and be active,” said Doyoyo. “We were tired of just sitting and doing nothing.”

According to the City of Tshwane, about 1,000 people live in Salvokop, and many of them are unemployed.

With help from Doyoyo’s brother, the two women started clearing up the land and removing rubbish and soon they were surprised when a group of men joined in. “They got inspired to help clean up,” Doyoyo said.

They had to caution people to stop throwing rubbish in the area and later managed to put up a small fence at the front. Water to maintain their garden is connected straight from the street underground pipe.

They employ an assistant, Eugene Govi, who works in the garden while the two women do their own work. Mudau runs a food business just next to the garden, where some of the spinach is also being cooked.

Gardener Eugene Govi says the spinach grown in the garden is popular in the community. Photo: Ezekiel Kekana

They want to finish clearing the land and fencing it. They would like to grow other vegetables as well as spinach. At present they sell about 20 batches of spinach and mutshaina per week, making roughly R200. Other money they need for Govi’s salary and for seedlings and other costs comes from their own savings.

Doyoyo says they would like to learn more about growing food and intend to apply for help through the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development’s Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme.

Eventually they hope to create more jobs and to sell vegetables outside Salvokop.

TOPICS:  Food security

Next:  Desperate for housing, they occupied mining land. Now they’re worried their homes will collapse

Previous:  Leaked documents show how government wants to tackle unemployment

© 2022 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.