According to The Big Issue “The most important needs of marginalised adults are employment and dignity”. The Kite Festival and Muizenberg Improvement District are playing a successful part in fulfilling this need and it’s working well for everyone.

Holding such a big event in the area can place a lot of stress on the suburb, its inhabitants, and the environment, and November 2016’s event was extremely well-attended with over 16000 visitors in 2 days! It’s a big job for the festival organizers to setup all the infrastructure required for the event. And then when the crowds arrive litter must be picked up before it can escape on the Southeaster and contaminate the vlei and surrounding neighbourhood.

For the past 3 years MID and The Kite Festival have collaborated to employ a small team of Muizenberg’s homeless residents to assist in making this all happen. This past year MID Directors Kevin Rack and Marion Wagner, field workers Samantha, Emmy and Sihsy Selenge and a team of Muizenberg’s homeless residents were on the job. The day before and the day after the festival they helped with a lot of the setup and dismantling. As Marion says “it’s a lot of physical work in carrying tables around, putting up fencing, moving all the bins around, supporting other stand holders with their equipment”, and then on the weekend of the festival itself the team picked up litter in the grounds and all surrounding areas including the opposite side of the vlei as well the area surrounding the caravan park.

The team are mainly homeless residents of Muizenberg who have been involved in other MID-run projects in the past such as the top-up weekend street cleaning, path clearing at Muizenberg Park, and the Muizenberg Festival.

Left picture: Godfrey, Jerome and Jannie Right picture: Kevin, Brian, Sihsy, Emmy, Eric, Ellen, Godfrey, and kneeling Jerome, Jannie, Musa


Greg Damster, the Event Organizer from Cape Mental Health says, “The participation of your team over the 5 days is much appreciated, and certainly contributed to the overall appearance of the Festival Village and surrounding areas. We have not had a single complaint from the neighbours or visitors, a testimony to the superb assistance of your team.”

For MID it’s an opportunity to contribute to making things happen in Muizenberg and to provide a positive employment opportunity for some of our homeless, by giving them a little work experience and promoting taking responsibility for earning a living.

And for the team? As Sihsy says, “It’s a chance to work and not worry about food on the day. And the team gets to meet people who see how hard they work when given the opportunity”.

Kevin Rack is the MID Directors for Social Development. If you would like to be involved, or have an idea you’d like to run past the team feel free to mail