Cafda community centre coming soon

Mark Killian at the space where a community centre will be built.

Open land that has been vacant for decades will soon be transformed into a community centre that will serve the residents of Cafda Village and the surrounding areas.

This is the vision church leader Pastor Mark Killian has for the 4364 square metre field in 12th Avenue.

The open space belongs to the City of Cape Town but approval has been granted for the sale of half of the open space to build an all inclusive recreational centre.

Mr Killian’s church, the New Apostolic House, has been based at Douglas Murray Home for the Aged for the past eight years but he applied to buy the erf as many as 20 years ago.

“For the past 20 years we have been going back and forth with the City to buy the land. There wasn’t really any valid reason given but we were relentless in pursuing it because God had given me a vision for this community,” said Mr Killian.

The church currently runs a reading room for children from Grade R to Grade 7 where they help children with English and maths.

Once the centre is up and running these are the types of programmes which will be available as well as an ECD and internet room that residents will have access to.

“The vision is not to build a church but to build a multi-purpose centre to empower the community. There are bad things happening in the area such as gang violence but there is a lot more good things and good people.

“There’s a lack of empowerment and community facilities in Cafda and that is why this is needed in the area.

“We want to build a legacy, and create a safe space where we can break the cycle of poverty by giving young men skills
and teaching mothers how to be self-sufficient,” said Mr Killian.

The church leader said his mother, community worker Christina Killian and others who had passed on like Glen Dunn, Ronald and Lilly Alexander had played a role in the vision for the past 20 years.

“I want to thank Douglas Murray for their support over the years. I also want to thank ward councillor Shannen Rossouw and provincial legislature member Denis Joseph for helping us along in this process,” said Mr Killian.

Resident, Martina Petersen who has been living in 12th Avenue for the past 46 years said it would be a positive move for the community.

“I am very happy to hear about the plans. It will be good for the community and it is definitely needed,” she said.

Another resident, Ricardo Swartbooi said: “For years it has just been an open piece of land where people are robbed and there are gang fights. Now the space can be used for a good purpose.

“If it’s true about the things being offered then it will have a more positive impact on the community and I fully support that,” he said.

There is no set date for the building to commence as the church is still in the process of sourcing funds.

Ward councillor, Shanen Rossouw, said a centre in Cafda is much needed.

“There are no facilities in Cafda. Even if we call meetings we have to have it at Retreat civic centre and many people from Cafda cannot make it because it is dangerous to walk to or out of their way to go to the civic. I welcome and support the building of the centre and know that it will be good for the community,” said Ms Rossouw.