In honour of women’s day we asked Anita Venter a few questions about her grassroots development initiative using sustainable building methods in Bloemfontein. We have great admiration for the shack replacement initiative and what she has done to empower her change agents to become more self-sufficient and build community in her local context. We first got to know of the work Anita does when she invited Peter to participate in the Lebone Arts and cultural centre, a collaborative project with Los Tecnicos in 2014. We were also honoured to host her and six of her change agents on one of our natural building courses in 2015.
How did you first get involved in natural/sustainable building? Tell us about the journey.
Since the early 2000s I have done many research studies on housing from socio-economic and policy perspectives. Continue reading →
In the first of our series of Q&As with pioneers of natural and sustainable building in South Africa and beyond, we caught up with Jill Hogan in honour of Women’s day in South Africa.
How did you first get involved in natural building?
Jill Hogan at Cobbit’s Cottage.
In the early 90’s my life changed completely and I found my self alone. In wanting to be part of a community, I met Hurta Stuurman and did some work with her on her cob house at Hermanus/Stanford and knew that this is what I wanted to do. It combined my concept of Permaculture with creating an organic home for myself, while allowing me to use my knowledge of earth/clay.
Tell us about your journey.
In the 70’s I worked for a nursery. I had a pot plant business, but was exposed to organic veggie gardening and became more and more interested. At the same time, I started doing pottery and assisted in teach children with learning disabilities now known as ADHD, and so was exposed to lateral thinking.
In the 80’s I went back to “school” and did a fine arts majoring in ceramics.
In 1992 I was introduced to Permaculture and did the design course with John Wilson from Fambidanzia, at Tlholego in Rustenberg, and I developed a true passion for sustainable development.
Someone was setting up an Eco Village in McGregor and I was drawn to become one of the original developers. But personality clashes among the original six members caused the project to collapse, sending me into McGregor itself where I bought a piece of land in the town. Continue reading →