On Sunday, 25 March 2018, thousands of people witnessed a contagious transformation of Eisleben Road as a shared public space. In fact, this busy road in Mitchells Plain was home to Open Streets between 12 and 5 pm; with the magic touch of street-minded people coming together, the roads were brightened by sidewalk hopscotch, bright chalk writing, an array of activities and street food, dotted by an energising crowd cruising along the car-free road, to the sound of music and laughter all around.
What is Open Streets?
Open Streets is a citizen-driven initiative and registered NPO working to change how we use, perceive and experience streets, challenging the paradigm of urban mobility. Open Streets Day like the one in Mitchells Plain are a collaboration with Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority and Open Streets.In line with TSiBA’s ethos of paying it forward, many of the TSiBAlings have volunteered with Open Streets and contributing to the success of this movement.
For the Mitchells Plain edition, the TSIBA Business School students brought to the South Activity Zone incredibly positive energy and spent a day in the sun interacting with the dynamic crowd, showcasing their leadership and academic talents and giving back to the community.
The Apologetics Crew attracted hundreds of people with their catchy moves and tunes, while the young participants had heaps of fun alternating hopscotching to story reading, managed by the TSIBA Book Club. The FUN with MATHS corner proved to be a highly interactive activity, with a large crowd of all ages engaging with the skillful TSiBAlings on solving Math problems.
The students thoroughly glowed in this shared space where every participant added value. “I got the opportunity to interact with people that I wouldn’t have been able to meet if it wasn’t for Open Streets”, says Joylin Vanaarde, BBA2 student who also led the Enactus TSIBA team, which engaged with attendees on the water drought in Cape Town.
Thabo Mshwamo, BBA 2 student and member of the TSiBA cycling team told GroundUp “This is actually what we need in our country, we need that unity. This is one of the events that I can say brings people together.” Indeed Open Street bridges historical social and spatial divides through strong community partnerships that ensure a fun and rewarding experience for everybody involved.
At 5pm, upon leaving Eisleben Road that was slowly opening to cars after the glorious morning, Team TSIBA was tired but set with an electrifying commitment to celebrating streets as a shared space at every Open Day!