Good Morning Angels: A vegetable garden for patients at Witkoppen Clinic

Good Morning Angels: A vegetable garden for patients at Witkoppen Clinic

The Witkoppen Clinic in Fourways is setting up a vegetable garden, to grow fresh veggies to supply to their poorest patients. 

Witkoppen Clinic Breakfast
Source: Jacaranda FM/Breakfast with Martin Bester

BACKGROUND: Most of their patients are from the townships in the area like Diepsloot and they have realised that nutrition is a big challenge for many of the people. They previously had three other gardens in the community they serve, before the pandemic - but these have all gone to waste. Now, they’ve decided to put all their efforts into the garden at the clinic - which is secured. 

The person heading up this passion project is 25-year-old Sipho Mahlangu - who himself grew up in Diepsloot.  

Sipho joined the Witkoppen Clinic’s YesForYouth project and has flourished. He had studied a Bachelor in Business Administration at Rosebank College and found a home in the Clinic’s Business Development department. "Ever since I started working here I developed a passion for helping those in need, and ensured that getting donations for the Clinic is my number one priority. I recently put my focus on the vegetable garden because there was a patient that told me how much of a difference the garden makes, and it broke my heart to see that all our gardens were dying due to lack of resources. Hence, I reached out to local residents on social media platforms, and came across some wonderful ladies who have been phenomenal with assisting us kick start the project,” Sipho says.

With the help of donors, they’ve done the preparation work for the 100m2 garden at the clinic - but they need more assistance with seeds and equipment. 

One of the wonderful ladies who has been assisting Sipho is Reva Barendse, who wrote to Good Morning Angels for some help. 

REQUEST FOR: Sipho Mahlangu and the Witkoppen Clinic Community Vegetable Garden

REQUEST FROM: Reva Barendse 

ANGEL: The Good Morning Angels Fund NPC 

SPONSORING: The GMA Fund will assist Sipho and the Witkoppen Clinic with their vegetable garden project with a donation of R20,000 for seedlings, equipment, and other needs to see their garden flourish!


Dear Jacaranda FM and Good Morning Angels,

I recently became aware that Witkoppen Clinic had a vegetable garden to assist in feeding the poorest of their patients who need nutritious, fresh food but who cannot afford to buy this. This garden is neglected as the clinic had to retrench over 100 people at the end of last year. Several of those retrenched were responsible for the maintenance of this garden. 

The clinic has four veggie gardens scattered through various communities close by, one being in Diepsloot. The garden at the clinic is sad, to say the least, and needs attention to revive it and become a showcase for other communities. The committee has decided to focus on this garden first before starting work on the other three.

What appeals to me most is the fact that it’s not a “give me money that no-one will ever know how it’s been spent” initiative, but if managed correctly, it could be sustainable and viable and would feed those most in need.

The space for this garden is approximately 100m2 in an L shape, gets plenty of sun, and is protected from prying eyes, thus ensuring that the vegetables grown there go to those who need them. This space will comprise approximately 10 beds of 9m2, demarcated to separate the different varieties of vegetables. 

Several people have donated a few items, one of the most crucial being organic compost that will cover most of the space, but not all of it. 

Others have donated vegetable seeds. Someone else has donated pavers, a simple irrigation system, and manpower to start the process. 

The team at the clinic is enthusiastic, but is at a loss as to how to go about organizing equipment and funding. Two of us outsiders have offered our services to get them started. 

Is there any way Good Morning Angels can assist in arranging donations of garden implements such as spades, garden forks, trowels, picks, wheelbarrows, a lock & chain for the storeroom where the implements will be stored, and any other items such as pallet planter boxes or similar? 

We are also looking for vegetable seedlings to start the process sooner rather than later. Would you be able to point us in the right direction of nurseries that would be willing to donate vegetable seedlings? We would then collect packets of seeds to propagate once the seedlings are established. The propagation of seeds would most likely be in egg boxes as those are biodegradable. 

The essential vegetables they require are tomatoes, beetroot, spinach, butternut, onions, beans, carrots, broccoli, and other nutritious vegetables. 

The young man in charge of this project is Sipho Mahlangu.

I would be so grateful if you could assist with this pilot project, which is valuable to the broader community and would ensure that certain compromised patients have decent food in their stomachs at least once a week. 

Please could you assist with this extremely worthy initiative?

Many thanks,

Reva Barendse 

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