Charity organisation cuts overgrown grass in Boksburg, municipality admits to contract issues

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Handlebars of Hope took it upon themselves to cut the long grass in public spaces in Boksburg.
Handlebars of Hope took it upon themselves to cut the long grass in public spaces in Boksburg.
  • A charity organisation has decided to cut the long grass in public spaces in Boksburg.
  • The organisation, Handlebars of Hope, is using its own funds to employ people to chop the overgrown grass.
  • The Ekurhuleni municipality said there was a delay with its grass-cutting tender.

Tired of seeing their Ekurhuleni suburb deteriorate, a group of residents decided to do something about it instead of just folding their arms and complaining.

Handlebars of Hope (HOH), a charity organisation that mother-and-daughter team, Vera and Mary Martin, established along with a friend and colleague, Wayne Lamprecht, in 2021, decided to cut the long grass in public spaces in Boksburg in January, which had been left unattended for too long.

It was the organisation's first job in 2023.

The three cycling enthusiasts formed HOH as a clean-up project to uplift public spaces and restore pride in communities.

HOH employs one person daily and provides the person with safety gear and garden equipment to clean up selected parks and open spaces.

"Not only has our beautiful town deteriorated with public spaces not being adequately maintained, impacting quality of life, but the long grass also affords criminals hiding places and poses a safety hazard to communities," Mary said.

Handlebars of Hope, a charity organisation in Ekur
Handlebars of Hope aims to uplift public spaces and restore pride in communities.
Facebook Facebook

The organisation's name was inspired by the group's love of cycling.

As a group, they cycle and invite people who want to cycle. The initiatives of HOH are extensions of the group.

All three of them are full-time property managers and focus on initiatives outside of their jobs.

READ | Community garden feeds more than 500 people

According to Mary, the charity organisation employs destitute community members to work on projects.

She said they put up their own funds for the organisation.

"We each put aside R5 000 per month, which brings it to a total of R15 000. It's not much to split between paying wages and buying equipment, but it's something," she said.

Cutting the grass, she added, was important.

Handlebars of Hope, a charity organisation in Ekur
The organisation uses its own funds to employ people to cut the overgrown grass.
Facebook Facebook

"The grass was acting as a safety hazard for our community. It was no longer safe for people going to work who pass by the big patch of grass."

She also said they were open to working with the municipality and that "it would be fantastic to join forces".

City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said: "There's been a delay with the grass-cutting tender appointed late last year."

He added that the municipality started cutting the grass in cemeteries and that workers would cut the grass in open spaces soon. Mary said she was hopeful and positive that there would be more initiatives to help better the community and create more employment opportunities.

She added: "The people among us are hungry. It's our responsibility to do better by offering employment where we can. The world needs more kindness, and it's not always the municipality's responsibility to do good for the community.

The organisation is accepting donations.

"The more we get, the more we give, and we are able to employ more people."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Are you still optimistic about the future of South Africa?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, I believe the potential is still there
17% - 99 votes
No, I feel we cannot reverse the damage that has been done
50% - 295 votes
I will only be able to say after the 2024 elections
33% - 193 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.