- Improve the lives of people living with AIDS and their dependents by supplementing their nutritional programmes
- Increase the knowledge of nutrition in the local communities
- Provide the community with practical experience in food production and natural resource management
- Reduce the incidence of malnourished children attending ECDCs and adults receiving HBC
- A garden that produces a range of foods and medicinal plants
- Conserve water and other natural resources
- Plant, process, harvest and prepare food for optimal nutritional value and income
- Practice proper food safety, personal hygiene and sanitation practices
- Nursery, green house and pond for harvesting rainwater
- Harvesting vegetables, herbs and grains for distribution to beneficiaries
- Setting up irrigation systems and producing compost
- Training and work opportunities for children from shelters/unemployed youth/adult farmers/private
What We Do
Siyakhana undertakes research related to food, nutrition, urban agriculture, and more. Siyakhana staff are closely linked to several research institutes, schools and divisions at Wits University and at other national (UCT, Stellenbosch) and International universities (NYU, Emory, London South Bank University, University College London, Queens (Canada) and work with a variety of national, provincial departments (including Health, Education, Agriculture and Rural Development and Economic Development), and local government (Jhb City) and scientific disciplines to explore the overlaps between food, health, social, structural, environmental issues as well as enterprise development and job creation.
WSI engages with government and civil society in order to create greater public awareness, share research findings and promote effective policy on food security and health.
Consulting and Design Services
WSI offers consulting services in the area of food security, health, nutrition and urban regeneration. We consult for all spheres of the government including GDARD and we are collaborating with the GDED. Past projects include the Mamelodi Urban Regeneration Strategy and the Green Strategy Programme for Gauteng.
WSI provides training to build capacity in the areas of food security, health promotion, nutrition, permaculture and sustainable urban agriculture. Those attending the training include individuals, emerging farmers, community-based organisations, state institutions and civil society. To date, more than 300 emerging farmers have been trained.
Food gardens growing a diverse range of foods are a direct and effective way to enhance food availability and access and strengthen the resilience of local food systems. They also contribute to building social capital, improving environments, and addressing poverty. We work on the principle that food availability can be improved by capacitatng small-scale farmers and gardeners and influencing city and settlement design to give people greater access to arable land, equipment and infrastructural resources and food retail outlets. This social development approach benefits disadvantaged people who are undernourished and food insecure. Siyakhana continues to develop and enhance its flagship food garden and extended its successes and lessons learned in establishing sustainable food gardens to several other project sites.
Siyakhana Food Garden
The Siyakhana Food Garden, our flagship project, is regarded as one of the most
successful urban food gardens in the wider Johannesburg metropole, as well as a hallmark of intersectoral collaboration. This is largely because of its mission to make far-reaching impacts at local, provincial, and national levels. It is not simply a garden; it also serves as a platform for other activities that address the following five key objectives:
- Improving availability of a wide variety of good and nutritious food;
- Conducting relevant and appropriate action-research that is influencing policy and strategies;
- Offering training to develop capacity among emerging leaders in the area of food gardens and sustainable livelihoods;
- Engaging in advocacy and networking activities; and
- Achieving financial sustainability through a self-funding social entrepreneurship model.
Siyakhana – A Model Food Garden
Siyakhana is an example of a successful permaculture garden. What was once a patch of ugly inner city ground has been vividly transformed with permaculture gardening techniques and a great deal of effort! >> More on Siyakhana – a model food garden
Access to sufficient food is the right of all South Africans, however today many South Africans are vulnerable to food insecurity, leading to nutritional problems including stunting, low body weight, and micronutrient malnutrition. >> More on food nutrition in South Africa
Sustainable Urban Design
We work closely with urban planning and urban design firms, government agencies, NGOs and universities on a variety of projects that help reshape how people interact with the environment that surrounds them and ensure sustainable urban development. >> More on sustainable urban design
Building Skills and Capacity
Medical research has established the value of balanced nutrition and medicinal plant use in the management of HIV/Aids and opportunistic infections. We provide training to members of the public interested in urban permaculture gardening, food production, renewable technologies, nutrition, physical activity, and health promotion. >> More on courses in nutrition and sustainable agriculture
The Siyakhana Initiative for Ecological Health and Food Security undertakes research and programming related to food, nutrition, urban agriculture, and more. We are closely linked to Wits University and we work with a variety of departments and scientific disciplines. >> More on Research at Siyakhana