Sustainable Communities

We hear the message from local communities: “We want things to change – remind us how to do it!”

In our local communities, Thrive operates out of an understanding that the values we stand for are the same as the values inherent in South Africa’s diverse peoples.  Thrive is honoured to be asked for guidance in the revival of forgotten practices that are embedded in the memories of all of our local cultures.

Hout Bay communities can have sustainable livelihoods through:

  • growing their own food using unutilised land and open spaces, while composting all organic refuse to enrich their compost and worm farms, reselling food
  • fighting alien vegetation and restoring the natural environment to its pristine condition
  • recycling and upcycling waste and goods
  • water efficiency
  • energy intelligence


The Thrive community projects fall loosely under the five pillars and during 2017-2018, Thrive worked hard to identify projects which would enable us to focus on demonstrating the five pillars working together and the synergies that can exist between them. Our aim is to demonstrate a holistic approach that will enable us to create a community model that can be shared with others. Here follows a basic outline of the Sustainable Communities Program approach to each of the five pillars.


IY Waste Minimisation Project: Through our partnership with Hout Bay Partnership and the City of Cape Town, Thrive became involved in a dynamic project called the Imizamo Yethu Waste Minimization Project which is a good foundation for a series of interlinked projects in Imizamo Yethu, through which Thrive might demonstrate a Sustainable Communities model for the five pillars i.e. Waste, Water, Food Gardens, Biodiversity and Energy.

In consultation with the community and following through on our commitment to really listen to community leaders and members as to what they would like, it became clear that the issue of waste minimization was much broader than simply recycling plastic. The biggest challenge in the eyes of the IY community is rats and Thrive realised that this is an issue that needs to be tackled head-on, along with the question of where and how community members could dispose of their solid food waste, in an effort to minimise the rodent problem ongoing. The Food Garden/biodiversity supervisor offers advice and support through awareness, training and mentoring sessions for IY residents.

Penzance Forest Project: Thrive has identified the Penzance Forest as a potential site for transformation into a clean safe communal area, in partnership with community based organisations, donor partners and the City of Cape Town, to demonstrate a workable model for waste management in informal settlements.

This project depends on co-operation from the City of Cape Town in provision of manpower and resources.

 The Penzance Forest is an area owned by the CoCT which is zoned for use as a public recreation area, and bordered by the informal settlement of Imizamo Yethu (IY), Silikamva High School, Sijonga Phambili and the CoCT Waste drop-off site. It is currently being used as a dumping area by the Aggett-Mbeki community and as a toilet due to the broken/blocked municipal toilets in S Biko Street and elsewhere.

Thrive’s wish is to see the Penzance area restored into a clean public open space to demonstrate a workable model for waste management in informal settlements, that can be duplicated in other areas. Objectives of the project are to:

  1. Remove the rubbish that has accumulated in that area over years
  2. Engage the adjacent community on how to better manage their waste
  3. Encourage the community to separate at source and send the separated waste to the education institutions such as Noluthando Pre-school and Sakhisizwe that are already separating and sending their recyclable waste to WastePlan.
  4. Engage the education institutions around that area on waste minimization, especially Silikamva High School.
  5. Link the institutions with a service provider such as WastePlan to buy back the waste
  6. Encourage the community to remove alien vegetation and plant indigenous plants
  7. Start a commons compost heap/vegetable garden, using grey water and green waste


Restaurant Project: A list of 65 eateries in Hout Bay has been compiled and volunteer mentors have been allocated to restaurants with a view to making contact, sharing the project objective, encouraging participation and building relationships. Each restaurant has been provided with a pack containing information about ways and means in which they walk this journey to achieve the project objectives:

  1. Responsible disposal of recyclable waste
  2. Organic waste recycling for composting
  3. Sourcing local fresh produce from local gardens in Hout Bay
  4. Encouraging water wise practices amongst staff and clientele, collecting rain water and recycling grey water.


The project has introduced a four-star grading system – restaurants are able to achieve a star for each of the four objectives they meet. An electronic map has been compiled and is shared with the public on the Thrive website. It will be regularly updated to reflect the success of the restaurants going forward.

Previous Community Projects

Thrive partners with the community and has on several occasions assisted in the organization of days where litter is picked up.

These clean up days not only make the area cleaner, but bring people together to learn about the importance of separating waste into three streams, landfill waste, dry recyclable waste and wet organic and food waste.

Community Beach Clean up – Saturday 8 August 2015 on Hout Bay Beach.