Township Challenge

big-hearted members of UCTs rugby club gave up their Saturday to lend a hand
building homes for shack dwellers in Netreg on the N2. 

volunteers were made up mainly of UCT students on the under-20 teams, and were
led by former Springbok number eight and Polar explorer, Dugald MacDonald.  The students joined forces with the Niall
Mellon Township Initiative (NMTI), a charity that builds quality brick homes in
townships in
Cape Town.

Half of the
burly 18 to 20 year olds were given Wellington boots and spades and were put to
work shovelling and smoothing the concrete foundations The rest prepared the slabs for concrete and
put their backs into labouring. By
down-tools time at four in the afternoon, the students had laid the foundations
for nine new homes.

MacDonald, president
of the UCT Rugby Club, explained that the students� involvement is part of their Good Citizen
Portfolio, which sees students and coaches training formerly disadvantaged
players in areas like Gugulethu, Langa and Nyanga. But this is the first time they have turned
their hands to building. It is
always rewarding to be involved with something where you are giving of your
time and energy to those who are worse off than you, said MacDonald. The majority of these young under-20s dont
know each other, so it has also been a good team-building exercise and I think
everyone’s enjoyed it.

law student Keane Robertson agreed.Its
been really good for us, he said. I’ve met the guys who I will be playing with
this year and the locals whose houses we are helping to build. Its good to find out what life is like here
for people.

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