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Project a light in the tunnel
Madeleine van Zyl (Cenpro Projects) and Ntabiseng Mologoana (Kopano Workshop) in one of two new vegetable tunnels at the workshop.Photo: Lientjie Mentz

Within two hectic days a Fresh Zone with two vege­table tunnels were erected at the Kopano Workshop for disabled people at Transnet Rail Engineering.

Zani Kunz, executive director of the Mike Loutfie Foundation, said on Thursday (06/08) these tunnels will provide a fresh and sustainable food source for all working at Kopano.

The Kopano Workshop for persons with disabilities is an education and experimental facility that has been in existence for 18 years.

The workshop currently provides work opportunities and skills training for 54 people.

Ntabiseng Mologoana, manager of the Kopano Workshop, said everyone there was excited about the new vegetable gardens.

“We provide meals for our workers and the fresh vegetables will go a long way. We all immediately took ownership of the gardens and are excited to be hands-on in the planting, maintenance and harvesting of the fresh produce.”

She said although the group takes turns to come to work due to Covid-19, they started their work again at the beginning of July.

“We have divided every­one into two groups so that only 28 people are on the premises each day. The workers will be able to take some of the vegetables home as soon as harvesting begins.”

Kunz said that communities all over South Africa need support.

“Covid-19 has exponen­tially increased the number of people in need. The foundation is poised to respond with both meaningful and impactful solutions to close this gap.”

The Mike Loutfie Founda­tion spon­sored the two tunnels, and with the help of Madeleine van Zyl of Cenpro Projects, seedlings of beetroot, spinach and onion were planted on Thursday. She also donated worm tea and a worm box so the seedlings could be well fed.

“If all goes well and they use the worm tea correctly, they will be able to harvest the spinach within six weeks,” said Van Zyl.

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