Before & Now

We have literary turned trash into treasure.

After 10 years of researching sustainable development in Europe, Xolani Hlongwa returned to his home country South Africa to plant the seeds of an urban renewal program. In August 2013, with a 10-year property management agreement in his hands, Xolani moved in with a tent and only R2 in his pocket in the derelict buildings at 246 Umbilo Road and 5 Essex Road.

For decades these buildings were neglected and decaying; hence, they became a spot for various illegal activities. With the power, care and creativity from the community and the grassroots (pun intended), we have turned this previously notorious space into a green and safe oasis.

Pictures speak louder than words……

We’ll let the videos, photos and events tell you the story of how the site and our work looks today…