Agricultural skills development project to deliver positive impact on sustainable economic empowerment and food security in local communities
In a ground-breaking launch on 23 November,, Redefine Properties unveiled the first retail urban rooftop farm to be established in the Western Cape – right on top of Kenilworth Centre, a popular regional shopping mall in the heart of the southern suburbs.
While rooftop farming is a relatively new concept in South Africa, the HandPicked CityFarm at Kenilworth Centre, which is being developed in partnership with Mr Price Foundation’s HandPicked programme and other key partners, aims to create community-based informal economic opportunities for unemployed youth and to promote local food security.
The launch was attended by Cape Town Executive Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and other key delegates from government, partners and the community.
The project is structured so that Redefine Properties will donate use of the space to the Mr Price Foundation’s HandPicked programme, with income generated by the farm used to fund the project. Other key partners include Fresh Life Produce and SA Urban Food & Farming Trust/Oranjezicht City Farm.
“Our aim is to create a meaningful and sustainable long-term solution to tackle youth unemployment and in turn food security in our immediate community/catchment area. We believe this project will set an example for how landlords can change the way retail properties are managed and developed so that lives, communities and the environment are impacted positively,” says Anelisa Keke, chief sustainability officer at Redefine.
The project will include a skills development programme that educates youth on how to develop an agricultural business in an urban environment, through a partnership with the Mr Price Foundation’s HandPicked programme, its training partner SA Urban Food & Farming Trust/Oranjezicht City Farm, and the Black City Farm Project based in Langa.
“At Redefine we are entrenching ESG into everything we do through an integrated approach to making strategic choices that will sustain value creation for all stakeholders. We are extremely proud to launch the HandPicked CityFarm at Kenilworth Centre today as an example of this approach in action, where the Kenilworth Centre value proposition not only benefits the environment through other on-site initiatives, but people and communities too,” concludes Keke.