Gugulethu youth demand vacant land

The GugulethuYouth DevelopmentCouncil (GYDC) have called on supporters to sign a petition they plan to submit to the City so that they can gain access to a plot they have their eye on.

The unoccupied land, known as Erf 8743, is situated next to the Gugulethu police station and the Gugulethu campus of the College of Cape Town.

After spotting that the land was unused, about two years ago, and fearing that it would be used as a dump site, members of the GYDC submitted an enquiry to the City of Cape Town to use that empty portion of land to build a 20 square metre long wall – the Gugulethu Wall of Hope – which they hoped young people would decorate with art and messages of hope.

But when they didn’t get the answer they hoped for, they drew up the petition.

Initiator of the idea and a former member of GYDC, Xolile Ndzoyi, said the plot was in a strategic place where everyone would be able to see the good work of young people. Mr Ndzoyi, who is now a member of Gugulethu Development Forum, said for Gugulethu to be able to fight crime, young people had to be kept busy. “We are quick to judge (the wrong) ways of young people and yet we are not providing the necessary tools for them to prosper.

“That same land could soon be turned into dumping site, where people are maimed and robbed.

“We felt let’s put it to good use. Let us build something that young people will do creative work on. This could be an internationally recognised wall.

“This could sell Gugulethu in a more positive way than what it is today,” he said. He said there are also hard copies of the petition for those who are not able to access it online.

The youth forum said they hoped that through this kind of initiative, they would be able to “define the persona and the essence of Gugulethu, inspire heritage, culture while leaving a legacy”.

If erected, the wall would contain a map with directions to other landmarks around Gugulethu, a brief history of Gugulethu and a small accompanying garden with a fountain.

They also envisage the wall being embedded with an outdoor broadcasting screen to show documentaries about the history of Gugulethu, local entertainment, as well as other relevant and positive content to keep the local youth inspired to do more with their lives – and free wi-fi for all guests.

Stuart Diamond, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, confirmed that the property was owned by the City of Cape Town and that it was currently not being leased to anyone.

He said, however, that the City’s Property Management Department had met with the Christian Welfare Organisation and the Abantu Health Project who were to have submitted a combined application to lease this portion of land but to date they have not done so.