The SCAGA line (Siyazama Community Allotment Garden Association) consists of five community gardens that were established by Abalimi Bezekhaya, as called for by the elders in the community of Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
The first garden was established in 1996, while other gardens (Eden Forest, Khulumtawana, New Sakhe and Philisinanai) were established over the following 8 years. SCAGA is sometimes also referred to as the “power line project”, because it is situated under the powerlines where no houses were allowed to be built.
Farmers started to produce vegetables for own consumption, but there was a surplus which they were not able to find a market for. In response to this Abalimi developed Harvest of Hope (HOH) in 2008 to supply organic veggies through a box scheme to individual clients. Farmers were initially contracted by HOH to grow vegetables. Initially each farm worked as a group and shared income accordingly, however in the latter years this changed to an allotment style approach where individual gardeners have their own plots and can sell their own vegetables. Abalimi has always supported farmers to self-arrange and decide how they want to run their gardens to encourage independence.
Today, a group of six women farmers is taking care of Siyazama (SCAGA 1), while the rest of the SCAGA line has evolved into a row of many community gardens. Sometimes also referred to as the “power line project”, it now is a leading micro-urban agriculture model in Cape Town and almost certainly in South Africa.
SCAGA is Abalimi’s main ‘laboratory’ for determining methodology and appropriate technology required to establish sustainable organic micro-urban agriculture projects on marginal land. This is also the home of Abalimi’s Young Farmers Training Centre (YFTC) to teach people how to to grow organic crops for sale and for eating at home, while conserving indigenous flora and promoting alternative farming technologies.
The gardens work independently, but also collaborate as is needed. They can be contacted via email on SCAGAgarden@gmail.com
Check out the map for the garden’s location: