Mother and son team up and lead campaign to beautify Ghost Town

2020-01-31 14:30
Antoinette Rassie (68) of Woodlands who joined the Ghost Town clean-up campaign yesterday.PHOTO: moeketsi mamane

Antoinette Rassie (68) of Woodlands who joined the Ghost Town clean-up campaign yesterday.PHOTO: moeketsi mamane

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Ghost town in Woodlands may be synonymous with crime and drugs, but a mother and son duo are determined to change that.

Gladys Radebe and her son Brendan Wengrow have taken it upon themselves to beautify the area with flowers in an effort to aesthetically improve its image.

The results of their months of hard work are already evident.

Taking the city’s vision for transformation to heart, the pair’s personal observation of the unsightliness, dirt and grime in the area, led to the idea of greening Woodlands.

“There is such a change in this place. There are no more stabbings and people are not fighting among themselves,” said Radebe.

Radebe said the purpose of the project was to increase the aesthetic value of Woodlands, and in the long run to provide indigent citizens and non-profit organisations with an abundant harvest of fresh vegetables.

Radebe, a factory worker, spends hours after work, sweeping the streets, planting flowers and clearing out illegal dumping sites.

And from her R2 100 wages, she has spent about R1 000 buying flowers and paying people to mow the grass verges and uncut grass.

“This place was filthy. We had rats and snakes running around. We had two big dumps along Gardenia Road. People used to throw baby nappies and beer bottles.

“I don’t earn much but the little that I have … I put it back in the community because I know God will supply all my needs according to His riches.

“We can’t keep waiting for the municipality that’s already plunged into crisis. They even fail to come here and collect our garbage. We are forgotten and we’re using the resources that we have,” she said.

Wengrow said the “lack of leadership” in their community, inspired them to want to make a change.

“Politicians only come to utilise us for their votes, and they don’t ever come back again ...

“We needed to come up with something that would capture the attention of Woodlands residents and defuse the negative perception of how the city is viewed by its citizens. It all starts with us — each one of us — from not littering, to cleaning up litter,” Wengrow added.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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