Lotus Park is an informal settlement which is situated on the banks of the Lotus River and the Railway Line .The area has been divided into 3 sections. The area has a very high unemployment rate amongst young people and there are very few social activities for young people to participate in, and the area has a very high violent crime rate. The community of Lotus Park is characterised by high youth unemployment and no public open space for children to play.
VPUU would like to achieve “Universal access” of a high quality and comprehensive ECD in informal marginalized communities. Clinics, Schools, Home affairs, SASSA, counselling services, Legal Aid, Mosaic.
Strengthening existing regular recreational and sport activities is the Youth focus highlighted in the area’s Community Action Plan. The focus is on Netball and Soccer, cultural dancing groups and academic support groups. All these activities are community-led. We offer Placemaker and Leader of Change programmes.
The Lotus Park Safe Node Area has done various kinds of activities in which are aimed at uplifting and developing the community of Lotus Park. Ongoing leadership training for the SNAC members and stakeholders also focus on Disaster Risk Management Training about fire and other disaster risk management aspects. A Community Action Plan (CAP) is the local area’s development plan for Lotus Park that identifies projects and interventions by all stakeholders, including CoCT, WCG, VPUU, community and other organisations. It is the tool to measure performance and accountability of the partners in development. Regular CAP Reviews are done to update changing community development needs (the most recent review was completed on 15 November 2015)
The vision for Lotus Park is to build safe and integrated communities by upgrading the existing settlement of Lotus Park without relocating people outside of the area. The intention is to keep the current density of 220du/ha. The combination of spatial layers and the six work-streams of the Community Action Plan (CAP), help guide the design of the Draft Spatial Reconfiguration Plan (SRP). A Draft SRP was developed during 2012 with input from the SNAC, broader stakeholders and CoCT Line Departments input informal settlement; high unemployment, high crime and lack of basic services.
VPUU is currently working in this area due to the lack of space for community members to gather and socialise, VPUU has come and build a Neighbourhood Centre that is now a place for the community to gather for their meeting and other events, a Kick about field for youth that plays sports netball and soccer, a Community Registers office for Lotus Park Community Registry and others, Neighbourhood Watch offices that keep the Centre and the community safe. It has partners who are stakeholders such as Mosaic Supporting through women and gender-based violence support programme.
Small monthly household surveys are conducted by trained local residents to track community perceptions and opinions in relation to safety and public services. Large annual household surveys are conducted by trained local residents to track changes in community perceptions and opinions in relation to safety and public services. A quarterly newsletter to inform residents about VPUU activities and opportunities happening in the SNA is published. There is a Community Register Office that aims to maintain an up-to-date community register of all residents living in the SNA.
One of our combined tasks with the community is to hold government accountable in its provision and maintenance of services and interventions according to the CAP. VPUU NPC supports this through partnerships and relationship building with line departments, and through regular meetings with stakeholders. Other accountability measures are regular Reference Group meetings where both government and communities are invited for updates and to discuss further development issues.