Metro opts to convert golf courses to vegetable gardens

LAND OF PLENTY: Nelson Mandela Metro plans to use its golf courses to cultivate food during the lockdown
LAND OF PLENTY: Nelson Mandela Metro plans to use its golf courses to cultivate food during the lockdown
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

While South Africans have for the most part been stuck indoors for the first few days of lockdown, Nelson Mandela Bay’s leadership has taken the decision to convert sections of all the metro’s golf courses into vegetable gardens.

With the uncertainty over the longevity of the coronavirus pandemic, the metro will use the city’s golf courses as a means to ensure food security for the metro’s poorest residents.

The Bay will be growing rosemary, thyme and rocket as well as eggplant, potatoes and butterbeans, with plans to expand — as required — the variety of vegetables and the land they occupy.

Bay acting city manager Noxolo Nqwazi said with the lack of municipal land available, golf courses were the next best thing.

“The use of golf courses as vegetable gardens could be a solution to our food problem because there’s water availability, which would help grow crops, and it’s also green there meaning the soil is fertile,” Nqwazi said.

Municipal land in the metro is scarce, with the departments of public health and human settlements constantly at loggerheads about prioritising either RDP houses or more cemeteries.

Municipal spokesperson Amos Spade said with the city having assumed responsibility for all its homeless people, it now needed to sustain them.

“No one will be using the golf courses at least for the next three weeks. If the lockdown is extended, that way we won’t run out of food and everyone will stay nourished ,” Spade said.

He said the cordoning off of land and planting of crops would take place with immediate effect, as of April 1.


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