DPVO Newsletter – March 2023

A flying start to our year!

Our year got off to a flying start when a couple in our area committed to paying our share of Chantel Sampson’s salary for the year.

This very generous offer came at just the right time. Having set aside the funds for Chantel’s social worker course, our reserves were running low. Chantel registered for CEFA’s Auxiliary Social Worker course towards the end of 2022. The course started in February with a theory module and Chantel tapped into the online lectures from Streetscapes offices.

She has successfully completed her first assignments and tests. The practical module is based on her actual work so she is now back working with the team on our streets.

The cleaning team of nine under the supervision of Hilma Amutenya is hard at work keeping our streets clean and also working in the Rugley Road Streetscapes garden to assist Thandi’s Fihla’s team when needed.

Greet the team

We aim to let residents know on Monday mornings (via the Vredehoek Community facebook group) where the cleaning team will be each week. By planning ahead for each week, we will be able to make sure that the team covers the whole of Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek over time.

When they are in your street, please go and say hello, and meet the team. If you have time, you are welcome to join them to help keep our suburb clean. Drinks and snacks are also appreciated.

Before and after the team's recent clean-up in Rugley Road!

Before and after the team’s recent clean-up in Rugley Road!

New ideas

Straatwerk (which also works with homeless people) will soon be training our team on how to remove graffiti and letting us know what materials and tools are needed. So if you notice any tagging on walls or electrical boxes please let us know, as we will soon be ready to add this to the services rendered to our community by the cleaning team.

Many of you will have noticed street-corner rockeries and gardens springing up all over our area, created by residents. Once the street cleaning roster is working smoothly, we would like to offer residents an opportunity to book the team on a set day of the week to to assist with maintenance (weeding and tidying, watering and even new planting) – in return for a donation to the DPVO project.

Within Streetscapes, there are a number of workers who are ready to fly solo, with some support. Thandi and Chantel will identify Streetscapes workers who can reliably be hired by residents to work in gardens, tidy up communal areas at blocks of flats, or do domestic work. We hope to develop a booking system which allows residents to hire a Streetscapes worker for the day, on days when they are not needed elsewhere. Rates will be advertised, and payment up front to Streetscapes will secure the booking. Streetscapes beneficiaries all have police clearance certificates. Many have participated in a cleaner training course, and are now keen to put their training into practice.

If any of you are interested and able to join the team to help run one of these new projects, please get in touch (info@dpvoutreach.org.za), as together we can do more.

For those of you who don’t have time but can support the initiative financially, we are grateful: every bit helps. Extra funds allow us to add to the cleaning team’s equipment, and to extend their activities.

Homelessness and evictions

The announcement by the City of Cape Town that homeless people will be evicted from some public spaces has attracted a lot of attention. The question is of course: where will those people go? We know that there are insufficient beds in shelters and social services are stretched. By partnering with Streetscapes, DPVO hopes to find alternative strategies with longer-term solutions.

Please help in any way you can! Every bit of help makes a difference, to the people we help off the streets, to their families and friends, and to all of us who live in the area !