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The Greater Tygerberg Partnership rolls out new ablution block for Bellville’s informal traders

Working with a team of designers and City of Cape Town officials, the GTP helped to finalise one design concept and then find enough funding to support its construction.

The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) is excited to reveal their brand new, safe and convenient ablution block at an unveiling by The Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos on Friday, 18 November 2022.

The R450,000 facility is located on the corner of Kruskal Avenue in the heart of the Bellville CBD, and near the main informal trading corridor. The ablution block will be open to both male and female traders, their customers at a cost R2,00 per use – open daily during general trading hours with disabled access, and baby-changing facilities will also be available.

“When businesses help to make sure their areas are pristine, they give existing and potential customers the confidence to support them. The new facilities speak to the City’s goal of creating dignified and accessible trading spaces where traders and customers feel comfortable and confident enough to engage. We thank all parties that stepped up to make these basic, yet crucial facilities available for the informal economy and community of Bellville,” said Alderman Vos.

As like most areas of South Africa, informal traders form an integral part of Bellville’s local economy but some of their most basic needs are often overlooked. Currently traders in the Bellville CBD do not have access to nearby toilets and are instead forced to use facilities in nearby shops, malls and the public transport interchange.

“Usually these are very difficult to access and some even prohibit traders from using them. Not having their own set of toilets has been a major concern raised by several informal traders at our community visits,” says Monique Muller, project manager at the GTP.

Flushed with success

The GTP challenged design students in the Tygerberg area to submit innovative ablution ideas that would deliver greater dignity to traders and acknowledge their right to access hygienic, and convenient ablution facilities whilst at work.

A total of four groups entered and each took part in a creative workshop hosted by Aurecon to help ensure their idea was safe and sustainable.

When businesses help to make sure their areas are pristine, they give existing and potential customers the confidence to support them. The new facilities speak to the City’s goal of creating dignified and accessible trading spaces where traders and customers feel comfortable and confident enough to engage. We thank all parties that stepped up to make these basic, yet crucial facilities available for the informal economy and community of Bellville. 
— Alderman Vos

Working with a team of designers and City of Cape Town officials, the GTP helped to finalise one design concept and then find enough funding to support its construction.

“A great thing about the chosen structure is that it is modular and so could be replicated in other urban areas where informal traders are experiencing the same challenges. This offers an ongoing opportunity for a funder to make a substantial difference to micro-entrepreneurs in other cities across South Africa,” continues Muller.

The new ablution lock for informal traders in Bellville.

“It’s also up to each and every one of us to do our part in creating a cleaner Cape Town. I would especially like to encourage local businesses to get more involved, and to partner with GTP and the City as part of the City’s campaign for a cleaner Cape Town, with a focus on business nodes,” said Alderman Vos.

The ablution blocks have been built on land owned by the City of Cape Town that has been leased to GrowthPoint, a key GTP partner, and will be cleaned and managed by another partner, MES.

“Under the City’s cooperation with the GTP, there are several more projects wherein local businesses can also show their support, including experimenting with biofuel as a solution to food waste, urban greening projects, and the expansion of the Trolley and Recycling Project,” Alderman Vos concluded.

Other sponsors of the fantastic initiative include Boudry Architects, who provided their services at no cost, Galojo Projects, Container World, Durbanville Engineer, Viking Deco and KSL Engineers.

For more information, visit The Greater Tygerberg Partnership at https://gtp.org.za/

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