PE creche up for award

Innovative structure could be SA’s ‘most beautiful object’

The walls of the Silindokuhle creche – made up of 1 500 wine bottles – shimmer in the sunlight, offsetting the rustic beauty of a building made from recyclable materials. It is this beauty that has put the social development project in line to win the annual Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award.

The centre is up against 10 other objects and is the only nominee from the Eastern Cape.

Community architect and project manager Kevin Kimwelle said the centre, along with the greater project it forms part of, directly addressed the social conflicts of the Joe Slovo community.

And the beauty of that project runs far deeper than the gorgeous creche, as it is helping empower a whole community.

Kimwelle hopes people will vote for the creche so their message of making a difference through empowerment will be heard.

“We were nominated by a lady who saw our centre on TV and we are the only nominee that addresses social issues and social change.

“The [project] consists of a youth centre, a specialised school and frailcare centre, the creche and a science centre,” he said.

“We also assist Joe Slovo residents by empowering them with a skills set which they are able to impart back to the community.”

Kimwelle said the R1.1-million project had grown immensely thanks to scores of benefactors.

The creche was built in conjunction with a number of young French architects from the Collective Saga and Engineering Without Borders, among others.

Kimwelle said 20 German students from Wismar University of Applied Science, 10 students from PE College and five NMMU students helped move the project into phase three, where the community would benefit from green initiatives.

“This includes turning recycling into a business and using products that are friendly to the environment when building any structure.”

Also on board is Port Elizabeth non-profit organisation The Hope Factory, which socio-economic development manager Darren Ryder says helps to develop communitybased businesses.

“Kevin approached us last year,” Ryder said.

“Essentially we are an enterprise and development company [and] our core focus is to mentor black businesses according to the triple BEE codes.”

A beneficiary of the Joe Slovo Community Project, Nomthandazo Daba, 58, says she has a steady business recycling bottles.

Her shack was renovated into a formal structure where she could accommodate her growing venture.

“The Hope Factory and the Joe Slovo Project came in to assist me, they turned my shack into a business. I now make enough money to send my daughter to a Model C school,” Daba said.

Kimwelle said project managers were in talks with PE College to develop an exchange programme where they would collaborate, design and assist in building more green RDP extensions.

He said PE College would assist in distributing bursaries to children in the centre.

Kimwelle urged the public to vote for the centre on the Design Indaba website to ensure their vision for creating innovative spaces in the townships continued.

The public is given 10 chances a day to vote at:

2 thoughts on “PE creche up for award

  • March 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Really an exceptional project.
    And the reality of re-cycling, and ecologically friendly, system design that is so necessary today.
    Well done Kevin and the Collective Saga and Engineering Without Borders.
    Any other local professionals involved ?

    Claude Bredell

  • March 3, 2017 at 8:04 am

    well done. shows what can be done when you are committed to something. this building must be beautiful at night.


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