Vegetable garden gets R300 000 boost

The Mhani Gingi vegetable garden at the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Manenberg.

The Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network vegetable garden at the Saartjie Baartman Centre in Manenberg has received over R300 000 to feed more people in the area.

The vegetable garden was planted in July 2020 and teaches the women at the centre how to plant and sell vegetables, so that they can make their own money and avoid returning to abusers they were financially dependent on in the past, according to the centre’s director, Bernadine Bachar.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, right, hands over a cheque to Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network’s founding director Lillian Masebenza.

Women at the centre, along with disabled people and student interns, work in the nursery, growing organic vegetables and herbs which are used in the centre’s kitchen and also sold at markets.

Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu presented a cheque to Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network’s founding director Lillian Masebenza, on Wednesday February 11.

Women who live at the Saartjie Baartman Centre work in the vegetable garden.

“The women are safe when they are here but they can’t be here for the rest of their lives,” Ms Zulu said. “They also need to have lives where they can go and be able to take care of themselves.”

She said she hoped the project would expand and teach more people how to grow their own vegetables in their backyards.

Three Mhani Gingi community soup stations deliver meals each week to 100 to 200 people in Uitsig and Ravensmead, 100 in Retreat, and about 250 in Athlone and Manenberg. By the end of 2020, food gardens were planted in Langa, Hanover Park, and Manenberg.

Ms Masebenza said: “I am grateful that we have received the donation. We will be able to expand the work that we are doing.”