Nexusing Water, Energy and Food to Increase Resilience in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area


Nexusing mid-term project meeting in Cape Town

In December 2022, the project consortium came together in Cape Town for the mid-term project meeting. Besides taking stock and devising the next steps for the project, we participated at the NRF-NUFFIC-NWO side event at the World Science Forum, met with local stakeholders and visited our case studies.

During our visit at the Lynedoch Ecovillage, we learned about the daily practices of the residents and neighbours in finding ways to live together and contribute to social justice and inclusivity. The main theme of the ecovillage is sustainability: through the minimisation of the ecological footprint of the community through innovative ways of using energy, water and other resources, and re-using waste. For instance, the village recycles sewage water for flushing toilets and irrigation to reduce water demand in this water-stressed region.

The wastewater recycling system at Lynedoch Ecovillage.

The Vegkop Polyculture Farm at the Phillippi Horticultural Area (PHA) aims to innovate crop production in this unique agricultural precinct in Cape Town, which produces about 50% of the city’s fresh produce. Nazeer Sonday gave us a tour around the vast PHA area.

View around the Phillippi Agricultural Area (PHA).

Moving on to a case study on small-scale farming that aims to contribute to local community development, we visited the Gugulethu Urban Food Forest Initiative (GUFFI) in Gugulethu, a township near Cape Town. Next to urban gardens in schools, we witnessed the many small gardening initiatives in backyards, which provide relief during the summer heat.

A backyard garden in Gugulethu.

Another visit took place to Atlantis, another township some 40 kilometres north of Cape Town. Matt Cullinan, CEO of Atlantis SEZ, introduced us to the vision of the Special Economic Zone to capitalise on the province’s renewable energy and green technology sector, while promoting social inclusion. We visited several initiatives in Atlantis, from water recycling, urban gardens in schools, to water provisioning schemes.

Provision of solar-heated water to households in Atlantis.

Leaflet of Letsatsi Water Project.