In July 2020, over one thousand Spekboom cutting donations from Sunset Beach residents made their way to Clanwilliam, the 6th oldest town in South Africa.

July 2022, the ChangeMakers Legacy Garden was chosen by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as the Western Cape representative for creating prosperity for people and planet. 2500 Spekboom plants make up a series of green circles that, in time, will form a hedge. 1000 of these come from Sunset Beach.

November 2022, with the help of local ChangeMakers providing space and support, this initiative makes a full circle back to Sunset Beach, propagating our very own ChangeMakers’ Spekboom Nursery for the ripple effect to continue closer to home.

The spekboom nursery in Clanwilliam came about because the plant can be propagated at little or no cost while adding many benefits. Because of its hardiness, we are able to use it as a teaching tool for our circular economy programme while adding significant value to the now-planted and growing spekboom hedges in the Legacy Garden.

The multiple benefits of the plant are like a gift. Not fussy to grow, it adapts well to wherever it is planted; it is the perfect introduction for orientation and training on why greening is important and helps us find the interested community members who want to learn more about gardening and can progress on to learn more about medicinal and food gardens.

But its most valuable attribute is  that it is fire retardant. We are not saying that a Spekboom hedge will stop a fire in its tracks, but in a situation where there is a fire in a township, the smallest of fire breaks can be the difference between having the time to save a life.

Just last December, the Sunset Beach community activated a plea for donations to victims of a terrible fire in Dunoon, asking for ChangeMakersHub (CMH) to facilitate the needs list and ensure the fire victims in Dunoon got the donations. In these cases, CMH works with the city of Cape Town Disaster Management; their team is absolutely amazing and always appreciative of any active citizen support to give the immediate relief needed while paperwork and inspections take place, which can take days.

So what is the “ChangeMakersHub 2030 Impact Accelerator”? It is a pilot changemaking project with the goal of creating significant and sustainable value, impacting not only the environment but also job creation and the economic growth of communities. And, in that, the formulation of a blueprint that is easily scalable and able to be shared and implemented across other deserving communities. A work in progress, but the first three phases are now well proven and tested and can come closer to home. Thanks to a kindly donated space, multiple friendship cutting propagations can be planted to get them to a stage where they have rooted and can be transplanted within the neighborhood to interested residents, and then cuttings can be gifted to local communities.

Korevaar says, “When people become active in positive contribution, even in the tiniest way, beautiful ripple effects far beyond our understanding happen.” “My greatest joy has been working in vulnerable communities and seeing how nurturing a positive active citizenship movement brings empowerment in the simplest and most profound ways.”

It’s not just about the amazing benefits of Spekboom; it’s about taking action, creating awareness, and paying it forward by greening vulnerable communities.

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