On Friday the 1st of July 2011, Asiye eTafuleni (AeT) were all hands on deck having accomplished a confluence of different activities.
This marked one of the busiest days yet experienced, and it has given us a new awareness of the great momentum we have gained on some of our major projects. This particular Friday enabled us to see the fruits of the seeds planted from the prior investments and the set up of various projects, that are now being upscaled and expanded; and in most cases, even faster than we anticipated. It has therefore become apparent that we are positively building off our foundations!
Garnering local, national and international interest
This busy day included a presentation and exposure visit to the Imagine Durban Cardboard Recycling Project by a delegation from the Pretoria-based agency called Automotive Industry Development Centre. The project is fast garnering interest at local, national and international levels having now been presented at Durban’s Sustainable City Exhibition, the Waste Minimization Forum, the Sustainable Cities International Durban Peer Exchange and Women in the Informal Economy: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO’s) Social Protection Programme for its Occupational Health and Safety Project.
Concurrently, an exclusively Teachers Tour was conducted as a component of the Markets of Warwick School Tours Programme. The School Tours, officially launched on 15th June 2011, is an off-shoot of the Market of Warwick public tours. A lot of work has gone into expanding the public tours into the schools sector by incorporating aspects of the Grade 12 Geography Curriculum within an activity booklet for students to apply during the walking tour. The Teachers Tour served to simulate the Students Tour to enable teachers to understand how the tours are to be conducted for students.
Officials, academics, tourists, students, corporates and more
The Markets of Warwick public tours have seen 928 local and international visitors since the FIFA world cup, including groups of local government officials, development practitioners, academics, tourists, university and Workers College students and even corporates as part of their diversity training – to name just some. Already an additional 200 high school students have been booked for the School Tours with interest from schools as Our Lady of Fatima, St. Benedict, Michaelhouse, St. Henry’s Marist Brothers’, St. Mary’s, Durban Girls’ High, Maris Stella, Durban Girls’ College and Thomas More College. It is believed that this young and influential audience could contribute significantly to the future assimilation of informal workers into urban environments.
Alongside the Teachers Tour, a public tour was facilitated by AeT who offered their services as back up to the local trained tour guides from the Warwick community, who were engaged in further training.
A unique offering
Lastly, a critical presentation of the Markets of Warwick Tourism Project was made to the Durban Chamber of Commerce Tourism Board. Subsequently, the project team was invited to become permanent members of the Board. This has highlighted the continuing interest and excitement in the Markets of Warwick Tourism Project as a community based initiative which is currently a unique offering in the inner-city.
Implicit in our approach has been to include the informal workers in presentations to external interested parties. This has primarily been through the insistence that the presentations include a site exposure or direct involvement by the workers. It is emerging that this is beneficial at two levels; firstly, it raises a consciousness that the project brief should emanate primarily from the lives and work of the project participants. Secondly, there is clear evidence that in doing so, this recognition raises their dignity and in turn legitimizes their urban presence.