Greyton Transition Town (GTT) is part of the global transition town movement comprising over 2000 communities throughout the world. GTT works in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, bringing the community together to find local solutions to the global challenges of peak oil and climate change.
As a vehicle for integration and social cohesion, it is unmatched and it is a shame that, to date, Greyton is the only official transition town in the whole of South Africa.
We urge the South African government to recognize the value of transition towns and to support their introduction to this country.
There isn’t a single human being who is not being affected or will not be affected in the future by climate change. The disadvantaged community is the most vulnerable and yet they are also the ones who have learnt to survive with very little. Transition recognizes the historically disadvantaged community as a community that is full of potential.
Our programmes cover the full spectrum of sustainability; waste management, renewable energy, food security and education. All of our programmes are led by and implemented by the historically disadvantaged community but fully embraced by the whole region.
People here are running four swop shops, collecting and building with eco-bricks (plastic bottles stuffed with non-recyclable waste), growing organic vegetables, rehabilitating a large part of our municipal dumpsite, recycling, planting a fruit forest and creating green businesses which have so far brought meaningful employment to over 25 people with a further 120 jobs in the pipeline.
However, the most critical part of our work and the area bearing the most results is our education programme with children aged 7 to 18 years. GTT both teaches in-school and runs an after-school eco-crew programme. We have a flagship adventure programme for best performing eco-crew members which has seen our local youngsters fly to Livingstone in Zambia to rehabilitate an ancient forest as well as planting trees closer to home in Hogsback, Gansbaai and of course Greyton.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Humane Society International in New York, we have received funds to roll out a trial humane education programme in all six local schools. This was launched in March this year and is already showing extraordinary results. Through teaching children to be kind to animals, empathy is awakened and they are inspired to be kinder to themselves, to their friends, teachers, family and, importantly, to the environment. Participating schools report a reduction in bullying, truancy and detentions and a rise in performance, evidenced by improved grades and exam results.
Each school now has a thriving vegetable garden which sell surplus at our two organic, local markets as well as to local restaurants. The gardens also provide for the school feeding schemes as well as raising funds for the schools.
The two programmes, environmental and humane education, work in perfect synergy, the humane education reaching children’s hearts and inspiring them to learn about conserving and looking after our environment.
GTT urge the South African Government to stress the importance of humane and environmental education in a world which is fragmenting under the weight of climate change and the resultant mass human migration, wars and conflict. These two programmes confront these challenges at their very core.
Here in Greyton we are nurturing future generations who are intent on repairing the damage we, their predecessors, caused to the planet whilst creating an integrated, equal and caring society.
Greyton Transition Town
A Western Cape Government 110% Green Flagship Project