From Dumping Ground to Community Space

By Samantha Lee

Fozia Rhodes, 64, has been working tirelessly to keep and maintain a patch of land previously used as a dumping ground on the corner of Hengelaar and Jukskei streets in Beacon Valley.

Spending most of her life in service to the community Rhodes managed to transform the patch of land while gaining the respect of the community.

“I asked the children who were sitting outside to help me pluck the weeds and keep the park clean because this is for them as well,” says Rhodes.

Her efforts to keep the park clean has resulted in the patch being used to host community gatherings and events for the residents in the surrounding streets.

She hopes to see the community take ownership of another patch of land across the street to see an end to the constant dumping.

“When the wind blows, it blows all the dirt from that park into our park and then I first need to clean all that rubbish before I can do anything,” she says.

“I wish it could be fenced off and then all the children can make use of it.”

But despite the lack of monetary support, Rhodes is still positive about her endeavours.

She has been part of the community safety structures for most of her life and continues to look out for her neighbours.

The patch of land with murals, memorials, flowers and trees is a far cry from where it was a few years ago.

Rhodes hopes to further use the land for a community vegetable garden where residents can learn to grow their own food.

“I don’t need a thank you, I just want everyone to look after it and enjoy it,” she says.

Source: News24 (Edited)