Things To Do in MidrandMongameli Park
Where? Ivory Park, Tembisa, Midrand, Gauteng.
When? Please Contact
How? Call +27 (011) 712-6600
How much? Free
In the township of Ivory Park over 100 000 people live in shacks, close to Tembisa. The township lies midway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, just east of Midrand. It was a seriously impoverished neighbourhood by the early nineties, when two environmentally hazardous events occurred - a chemical fire broke out at a warehouse, and a waste dump was opened in an adjoining neighbourhood. As result Earthlife Africa, a local NGO, raised R11 million from a Danish Agency, who then set up the Midrand EcoCity Trust.
The ethos behind the trust is to involve the community in co-operatives to rid the neighbourhood of health problems and to lead to a more sustainable local economy in the township. Projects include women farmers growing organic food, people employed to collect waste and sort it, and a group who make paper from alien vegetation etc.
In the middle of the township, on a piece of what was dusty ground, a green park now stands known as Mongameli Park - another example of the city's 'extreme parks' – similar to Pimville, Diepkloof and Wilgeheuwel. It went up in 21 days.
The park has children's play equipment, recycling stations, and upgraded netball and soccer fields, landscaped lawns, a sun dial, mural feature walls, and trees. Roughly 30 people from the local community were involved in building the park, and 25 are said to be employed to maintain it – promoting community ownership.