Mda to open centre

2016-10-13 06:00
 Author Zakes Mda is in Khayelitsha today. PHOTO: PHOTO24

Author Zakes Mda is in Khayelitsha today. PHOTO: PHOTO24

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Zakes Mda, one of South Africa’s literary giants and internationally acclaimed authors, will today officially open the Isivivana Multipurpose Centre, which is situated at Khayelitsha Mall.

Isivivana Centre is a social justice and community centre that is owned and managed by the Khayelitsha Youth and Community Centre (KYCC) Trust.

The founder of the trust is the Atlantic Philanthropies, which was the primary donor.

“The trustees have strong ties to Khayelitsha and social justice, and the beneficiaries are community-based organisations and the Khayelitsha community,” said Nomntu Mini of KYCC Trust.

She said the ground floor has the following public facilities: a library, a cinema, a meeting hall, a classroom, a restaurant (Café Isivivana), a legal advice office (, and an outdoor amphitheatre.

“All of these are available to the public, some for a small fee. The cinema, meeting hall and classroom can be booked as self-contained venues through the centre management. The library and cinema are supported by the Harry Crossley Foundation and Bertha Foundation respectively,” she said.

The centre is intended to be a boost for Khayelitsha, offering a space for communal meetings, family celebrations and learning. It will also run a regular film-screening program, open to the public.

The top three floors are office spaces for community and social justice organisations that are registered Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs).

These include: Equal Education, Social Justice Coalition, Médecins sans Frontières, Treatment Action Campaign, Workers World Media Productions,, Health Equity South Africa, Thope Foundation & The Equal Education Law Centre.

On the street-facing side of the building are spaces for five small shops. These retail tenants include Silulo-Ulutho, a local internet cafe and computer training company, and Nkomshish Laundry.

Two retail spaces remain available.

The primary team that constructed the centre included: Brown Barrow Projects, GAPP Architects, Platform Design, MultiQS and Arup.

Additional professional support was provided by Webber Wentzel, MCAS Corporate Advisory Services, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Classic Consulting and Jill Singer Consulting.

The construction tender was awarded to Group5 on the basis of four considerations: price, BBBEE credentials, local subcontracting and duration of build. Of the overall tender, 20% was locally subcontracted.

She said labour was hundred per cent sourced from surrounding communities.

A large framed tribute to the hundreds of workers that built Isivivana Centre hangs in the entrance, listing every name. The centre will have approximately 13 staff members, including building, library and cinema management, cleaning, gardening and security.

All employment is 100% in-sourced.

The tenant organisations provide employment to hundreds more, most of whom are resident in Khayelitsha.

The opening will be addressed by beloved author Zakes Mda, who will explain the name chosen for the building.

Architect Katlego Motene, Atlantic Philanthropies COO David Sternlieb and trustee Doron Isaacs will also speak.

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