Working Case Study

Our community screening events have attracted thousands of people of all ages to come and debate solutions to their problems.
Change-makers are enabled to have an influential local (community public screenings) and global voice through the development of an Internet and mobile television channel representing each community.
The need for our initiative is universal in under-resourced communities and its implementation is simple, we are able to expand the model to other such communities across Africa.

“Siyakhona has made an important impact on my life. It has given me the chance and skills to tell the untold stories of my community. The skills I have learned here have changed the way I see the world and shown me the power of telling stories with a camera. With the new skills I have learned I want to fight for women’s rights, bring cinema to the township and become a loud voice for my community and my people”
Phakama Pyoos, 25, Khayelitsha. Director: ‘HIV Cycle in the Township’

Alexandra Clean Up Campaign

Alexandra Township is historically known for its political history and now known for its poverty situation in the center of world class Central Business Districts; such as Johannesburg, Sandton, Midrand and other eastern suburbs.

May 2010
Trainees walk the streets and speak to locals about the social issues pressing them most. We found a community desperate for immediate help with the rats. They have caused damage to property and these rats bite babies, old women and men.
Siyakhona Alex started to work on a call to action film on Alexandra’s rat crisis; went out in the day and in the night on a hunt for rats, saw rat bite victims from location to location, spoke to a scientists who lead us deeply into what diseases rats carry and how to prevent ourselves from being bitten. The story involved the local Municipality and key role players in solving the problem.

We informed the community about the causes of Rats population increase and how the community can eliminate the number of Rats; start to clean their environment.
We developed a Call to Action campaign to inspire the community to unite and address pollution as a root cause of the crisis.

June 2010
A campaign was held in the township and people attended in 100s to hear how they could prevent bites and diseases from rats.

August 2010
With a portable projector and screen we screened our first half hour magazine video highlighting our call to action to end the rat crisis. The team created a platform for freedom of expression; dialogue, ideas and debate.

The team took a copy of their call to action video to the municipal managers of region E, without an appointment.

They so impressed the managers with their film and power-point presentation of our solution, that they were referred them to the next highest level. Three meetings later Siyakhona Alexandra had presented their film on rats to the directors of every region of Gauteng.  Inspired by our team’s work they committed to pooling their resources, time and in some cases holiday time, to help our team and the residents of Alexandra to get rid of the pollution which is exacerbating the rat crisis.
Our strategy was to listen to what the community had to say about the problem, understand where the faults were investigating all sides of the issue, unite the community through the story, and implement effective plans of action.

September 2010
1 -4 September: We had 900 volunteers from the community to clean up in eleven most polluted areas that we identified while filming. The Regional Director of the Municipality, officially opened the first day of the campaign,, with other councilors, and officials from City of Johannesburg Municipalities.

Clean up
Participating in the campaign were Region E, Pikitup, metro police, South African Police Service, Alexandra Urban Renewal Project and local councilors.
Speaking at the start of the cleanup at the Square in Alexandra, the Region E regional director, Liziwe Ntshinga-Makoro ,thanked the City departments for uniting to tackle the rat problem. “If we cannot do it together, we are unlikely to win the battle against social challenges.”
She pointed out that initiatives implemented in the past were not successful because of a lack of co-operation between departments and communities.

January 2011
Our small clean up campaign grows. Siyakhona has inspired the city to bring all departments together in an integrated service delivery plan for Alexandra and surrounding areas to combat service delivery issues in a manner that is sustainable and visible to the community.
Together we have identified five hotspots for the clean up campaign and rodent crisis; Pan Africa precinct, River Park Precinct, Madala Hostel, Nobuhle Hostel and Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel.
The regional director has established monthly Siyakhona task group meetings at her offices. The task group involves representatives from departments of environmental health, housing, PickItUP, Stakeholder management, Service delivery, urban management and ourselves in which we work together on this and other service delivery issues and implement innovative solutions.
All departments have been briefed on the Siyakhona Initiative and have been directed to submit plans on how they can best add to the project and its impact on the community. Further to the clean up campaign we are also discussing other projects such as recycling, developing green based cooperatives, rehabilitating the Jukskei river, ending tribalism as well as delving into the problem of housing delivery.
Region E will pay the costs of our public screenings, literature and marketing materials and participate in conversations with the community at our screenings.

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