Dunoon is an underprivileged and overcrowded informal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. It is in the vicinity of a prestigious construction contract being undertaken by Stefanutti Stocks Building Western Cape for an international client. The location of the project motivated for the employ of a dedicated community liaison manager to assist in building strong relationships with the culturally diverse community, as well as identifying development areas that would uplift the residents and infrastructure.
After some investigation and consultation with the local community leaders and forums Stefanutti Stocks’ Western Cape Region community liaison manager, Eugene Maqwelana, proposed Siyazakha Educare & Aftercare as a viable socio-economic development initiative that desperately need some investment. The creche caters for 68 children from the surrounding informal settlements and although well-run and managed by a dedicated principal Mrs Nhopasika Dhaniso and her staff, it required extensive renovation, repair, and maintenance work as well as security and sanitation upgrades.
R420 000 was allocated this socio-economic development initiative and Qweli (a local Cape-Town based subcontractor who is an enterprise development partner to Stefanutti Stocks) was commissioned to undertake the construction project. The scope of work at the container school included new roofing, waterproofing (for the main hall), painting, concrete floors, paving, gutters, and the installation of containerised toilet facilities. “We have installed three toilets – one for the boys, one for the girls and one for the teachers,” says Maqwelana. “Our toilets are also a unique colour, so that the municipality will easily identify which toilets belong to the creche, when they service the portable toilets, and will hopefully also discourage theft.”
The creche has also benefited from a kitchen upgrade, electrical and lighting work, security upgrades that included boundary walls and a sturdy gate, as well as a playbox, jungle gym and play chains, sleeping mats, furniture, the planting of a few trees and two new school signboards.
Further areas for revitalisation have been identified and Stefanutti Stocks intends to continue supporting Siyazakha during 2022. Its development and site teams will work in close partnership with the client, the community forums and the creche’s stakeholders in a bid to create a sustainable educational environment that supports early development and that will continue to flourish once the contract has been completed and commissioned.
Mrs Nhopasika Dhaniso and her staff have expressed their thanks and delight for the attention the creche has received thus far. “In 2020 we often experienced youngsters breaking windows and stealing all we had. Even our toilets were stolen! Now with the wall and fence we are more secure AND our children can no longer just run over this busy road,” says Mrs Dhaniso. “Thank you to all the team! Sometimes our circumstances make me sad, sometimes I’m angry, but right now I’m so happy. Please keep doing this for everyone – our children need us!”