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Khulisa and CCID team up for long street project

Khulisa and CCID team up for long street project

12 Dec 2017 Tags: urban management Khulisa Social Solutions

The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has been partnering with Khulisa Social Solutions on pilot projects that provide work opportunities while enabling better management of the urban environment, with the latest project targeting Long Street.

Many Capetonians know Long Street as the heart of the Central City’s entertainment district, so it comes as no surprise to learn that many businesses along this popular stretch request waste collections (in terms of Municipal black bins) up to five times a week.

According to Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District: “As we all know, where there is waste collection occurring, the opportunity also occurs for people to rummage through bins for recyclable materials. But unfortunately, this often results in a great deal of litter ending up on the streets. To help prevent this and ensure that the urban environment is clean and that it works for Central City stakeholders, the CCID has partnered once again with Khulisa Social Solutions to carry out this project.

“We recently partnered with Khulisa on a similar project in Greenmarket Square which has been creating numerous work opportunities for its participants and we believe the Long Street project can be just as successful.”

The pilot project with Khulisa officially started on 4 December 2017 and will run until 2 March 2018. At present, the focus is on Long Street between Hout and Church streets, and a total of 15 buildings and 38 retailers are participating.

Richard Beesley, manager of CCID Urban Management, shares Tasso’s sentiments. When it comes to Long Street specifically – which is often “described as the funkiest  street in Cape Town” –  he explains that: “While many businesses in this street place their bins out for collection in the early hours of the morning, collection only happens many hours later. The situation in Long Street had become so challenging in this regard, with so many complaints coming through from businesses and the public, that as the CCID we put our heads together to develop a plan not only in terms of the litter but also to avoid bins being vandalised or stolen, which also occurs.”

The solution has been to deploy a project similar to the one being run on Greenmarket Square, wherein CCID’s Urban Management department partners with Khulisa Social Solutions to create work opportunities for street people while at the same time combatting litter in the CBD.

In addition, Khulisa also provides its participants with valuable social services. These include daily sessions with a counsellor, psycho-educational training, assistance with rebuilding relationships with families, as well as assistance to access health services and hopefully to ultimately move off the streets.

CCID precinct manager for the Long Street area, Carlisle Marankey, explains: “We ask businesses to keep their bins on their premises. In other words, they do not wheel them out onto the streets. As the refuse truck begins to move up Long Street, runners (who are participants in the Khulisa project) then move ahead of the truck to take out the bins and place them on the street, ready for collection when the truck arrives, and they then also take the bins back to their owners.”

According to Carlisle, the Khulisa participants in fact micro-manage the process, not only in terms of moving the bins but also encouraging fellow streetpeople to act responsibly. “They allow recyclables such as cardboard to be removed from the bins, but their watchful eye discourages further littering.”

He adds that while the project was started only at the beginning of December, the CCID Urban Management team is already seeing a vast improvement and hopes the project will be rolled out in other parts of the CBD as the need arises. “The response has been phenomenal, and should the pilot be deemed successful, we hope to extend it further, to cover Long Street all the way from Strand Street to Wale Street.”