Dear SLF members, supporters and followers,
We are pleased to share our autumn 2017 newsletter with you – if only it would actually start feeling like autumn in the Mother City! However, our team has been so busy jetting off elsewhere to undertake field work, interviews, and exhibitions, that Cape Town’s prolonged summer has hardly been noticed.
Having won a contract to conduct a nationwide study of informal economy grocery retail at the end of last year, Director Leif Petersen and his team have spent the first quarter tracking down spaza shops and township grocers across the Western Cape, Gauteng, the Free State, the Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape await in May. SLF’s work with the Delft Safety Group has also been taken further afield, with representatives from the group and from SLF attending a workshop in Bellagio, Italy – followed immediately by hosting their own international workshop in Cape Town. Director Andrew Hartnack has been similarly mobile, travelling to Swellendam, East London, Pietermaritzburg and Tzaneen to meet with and observe the activities of organisations working on the DG Murray Trust’s ‘addressing school dropout’ pilot project. Finally, the informal economy team have concluded five months of intensive research on the leisure economy in Eveline Street, Windhoek, which they showcased in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Windhoek throughout March.
Closer to home, SLF’s work on our Making All Voices Count project drew to a close with the drafting of the case studies and final report. The health case study concluded its participatory research phase in April with an emotional engagement event organised by the community care workers themselves and supported by SLF.
Amidst all this busyness, a job opportunity has opened at SLF as well. The informality team is looking to recruit a researcher with urban design/architecture experience. More information on this opportunity and all of SLF’s exciting undertakings can be found in the links below.
Happy reading… and here’s hoping for some rain!
Words by Dr. Andrew Hartnack and Caitlin Tonkin