2019 SAIA-KZN Awards for Architecture

Richard Dobson Architect, in partnership with AeT, received a Special Mention for Work of Social Importance. Recognising the significance of urban design that impacts positively on some of the poorest and most vulnerable workers. Despite the City providing basic infrastructure for the Mealie Cooks, a major challenge lies in the current cooking method of using … Read more

Reflecting on 2018: Part 2

Rebecca Plumbley As we reach the end of 2018, we look back on ten significant projects and events that happened this year. This is Part 2 of the list. 6. Herb Market Fire On the 29th of July a fire destroyed around a third of the Traditional Herb and Medicine Market, burning the stock and … Read more

Reflecting on 2018: Part 1

­Rebecca Plumbley As we reach the end of 2018, we look back on ten significant projects and events that happened this year. 1. World Resources Institute: Ross Prize Top 5 On the 12th of December, it was announced that AeT is one of the top 5 for the World Resources Institute’s Ross Prize. The prize … Read more

Politicians and Informal Workers Connect

Rebecca Plumbley In concluding the series on the reiteration of infrastructure in Warwick, it is worth looking at broader structures that have allowed for and initiated reinvestment and renewed interest in infrastructure for informal workers. Over the past months blog posts have covered the progress of new infrastructure for recyclers, the reopening of the bead … Read more

Mealie Cooks Part 2: Evolving Infrastructure

Rebecca Plumbley This blog post is the 2nd part of the story of the Mealie Cooks; read part 1 here. The cooking process of mealies involves placing 13 dozen mealies in a 200l steel drum with 40-50L water and 45g of bicarbonate of soda. This is then covered with a piece of plastic and left … Read more

Mealie Cooks Part 1: “There’s fire in my system”

Rebecca Plumbley As a popular, low-cost, carbohydrate fast-food mealie (corn-on-the-cob) cooking has a long history in Warwick and its surrounds. Like many other activities in Warwick mealie cooking has recently undergone its third iteration of infrastructure to enable informal workers. There are currently around 64 cooks, the majority of whom are women. As some of … Read more

“Qeda usizi” end [our] suffering: improving the lives of street cooks – Part 2

Phumelele Mkhize and Trang Luu (follow on from Part 1) The horizontal stove design emerged as an option from the MIT D-Lab, as an iteration of the existing cooking method, combined with learning’s from smoke and fuel efficient stove technologies- such as RocketWorks. The concept design aimed to use existing materials and technical insight to … Read more

“Qeda usizi” end our suffering: improving the lives of street cooks – Part 1.

Phumelele Mkhize and Trang Luu Freshly cooked mealies (corn-on-the-cob) are an essential Durban street food staple – they’re healthy, affordable and conveniently accessible to the local commuter population. Over the years, the preparation of mealies in the inner city has developed incrementally- from the hazard of large open fire cooking on city pavements, to a designated site … Read more

Informal Workers’ Seasonal Vulnerability

Rebecca Plumbley Several variables have an impact on the livelihoods of informal workers- one such factor that Asiye eTafuleni has noted is the implications of the seasons, which have an influence on resource availability. In times when their supply is low traders cannot easily diversify what they sell as they are likely to then be … Read more