Archway Foundation


Over R600 million spent in 16 years to help redress historic disadvantage

The 100th Garden Cities Archway Foundation school hall, to coincide with the centenary this year of the Western Cape’s oldest residential development company, was handed over to Balvenie Primary School in Elsie’s River on Saturday September 14. The more than R7 million hall is one of the hundreds more that are still needed by historically under-resourced schools in the Western Cape. So far, in the past 16 years, the Foundation has provided the one hundred halls, valued at a total of more than R600 million, to schools in the Cape Peninsula and as far afield as Oudtshoorn, Worcester, Great Brak River, Ceres and Saldanha Bay.  

The ribbon-cutting and commemorative plaque-unveiling ceremony was attended by members of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) which has more recently partnered the Archway Foundation with funding for the halls as well as members of the Board of Garden Cities, and Balvenie Primary staff and governing body members.

Click on pictures for captions




To date 1 140   Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses have been built and handed over to their new owners in Phase One and Two of Greenville Garden City, the 767ha new town in Fisantekraal.. All the recipients of the houses are former backyard dwellers or occupants of informal housing in the area, and have never owned property before.

Phase Two will be completed in February 2020 and Phase Three internal services,  that have already started, will be completed in January 2020.  Construction of houses will commence in February 2020.

Launched in March 2016, Greenville is, in its first stages, a private/public partnership between the City of Cape Town, the Provincial Government and non-profit residential developer, Garden Cities. 

The entire suburb will eventually comprise 16 000 homes across the entire economic spectrum, and include bonded housing, but the initial stages will concentrate on providing for people in desperate need of homes. Included in the first phase are eight business sites that will be for rent to local traders and service providers.

A total of approximately 5 700 people are now housed in Greenville whose homeowners are beneficiaries of the developer driven individual subsidy (Provincial Government grants) that cover their purchase costs. Only approved beneficiaries are eligible for a house.

The tripartite collaboration involves allocation of the houses by the City of Cape Town from its waiting list, and the administration of the grants provided by the Provincial Government.  Garden Cities, the Western Cape’s biggest and oldest residential developer, which celebrates its centenary this year, has provided the land, and undertakes the construction of the houses.  The company also assists the applicants with completing the required application forms and supporting documents, which are submitted to CoCT, from where they are forwarded to the Provincial authorities.

Garden Cities has maintained an average of 25 to 30 houses a month since inception of the project and has moved on to the second phase of houses in the BNG category. The houses are constructed using an innovative material, Benex blocks, invented in Australia. The blocks and associated materials, including panels and roofs, are now produced by previously unskilled and unemployed local people in an Epping factory which also exports the product back to Australia.


All the current phase houses are 42sqm, except for the units for disabled residents that are 45sqm, to provide for disability specifications. Disabled applicants also get an allowance if their disability if endorsed by a qualified doctor.

The eight business sites  at Greenville have been rented out to local entrepreneurs and NGOs. Garden Cities is  assisting them through an Enterprise and Supplier Development programme, which will see them being mentored on business skills.

A Community/Youth centre will also be built as part of the first phase, as there is only one facility of this kind to service the whole community including the old Fisantekraal. A service provider is currently being sourced through the Western Cape Social Development.

As part of the community development, the Department of Public works has submitted an  offer to purchase the allocated Primary School site to meet the urgent need for a second primary school in the area. The construction of a clinic by City Health will start shortly. Various petrol companies are interested in a site for a service station. A skills school will also be built in partnership with Tjeka. Discussions are currently underway to build a convenience shopping centre that will be anchored by a grocery store.

So far, the project has created over 150 job opportunities for local residents, who have been employed since the beginning. Some local subcontractors were also afforded an opportunity to participate, although most of the employment is on an individual basis.

As part of its own community development initiative, Garden Cities has been funding some sports activities in the community and there is an excellent synergy between the company’s northern areas residential project Pinehurst, near Durbanville, where swimming and football training facilities have been made available to Greenville residents.

Garden Cities has also set up a community improvement programme advocating good citizenship, and leadership as well as entrepreneurial skills, run by a local professional.

A team of volunteers who look after the environmental issues around Greenville has been formed, with a mandate to ensure the Mosselbank River corridor that runs through the area, is kept clean. The team also encourages local people to clean up their community and monitors the illegal dumping in the river. This team has since been formalised, with personalised protective equipment and a donated container they use as headquarters. The team has also attended various training programmes, including snake handling.


Archway Foundation



1 Kensington High School Kensington 1300
2 Hyde Park Primary School Parkwood Estate 850
3 Glendale High School Mitchell's Plain 1200
4 Isilimela Comprehensive High School Langa 1050
5 Imizamo Yethu Secondary School Thembalethu, George 1200
6 Luhlaza Secondary School Khayelitsha 1300
7 Kasselsvlei Comprehensive High School Bellville South 1300
8 Gugulethu Comprehensive High School Gugulethu 1400
9 Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School Khayelitsha 1400
10 Saambou Primary School Manenberg 540
11 Garden Village Primary School Garden Village, Maitland 200
12 Sarepta Secondary School Kuils River 1340
13 Scottsville High School Kraaifontein 1130
14 Knysna Secondary School Hornlee, Knysna 1350
15 Phoenix Secondary School Manenberg 980
16 Mount View High School Hanover Park 1020
17 Mzamomtsha Primary School Driftsands, Khayelitsha 690
18 Kleinvlei Secondary School Eerste River 1100
19 Diazville Primary School Saldanha Bay 1215
20 Sinethemba Secondary School Philippi 1170
21 Imekhaya Primary School Mossel Bay 750
22 Intlanganiso Secondary School Khayelitsha 1240
23 Bridgeville Primary School Bridgetown 680
24 De Heide Primary School Bredasdorp 1445
25 Diazville Secondary School Saldanha 1100
26 Enkululekweni Primary School Wallacedene 1300
27 Westridge High School Mitchell's Plain 900
28 Indwe Secondary School Mossel Bay 1070
29 Siyazakha Primary School Philippi 1115
30 Plantation Primary School Grassy Park 920
31 Mooi-Uitsig Primary School Ceres 910
32 Kenmere Primary School Kensington 965
33 Athlone Pre-Primary Athlone 150
34 Protea Park Primary School Atlantis 770
35 Parkview Primary School Atlantis 825
36 Filia Special School Goodwood 120
37 Cedar High School of the Arts Mitchell's Plain 1320
38 Chris Hani Arts & Culture High School Khayelitsha 1380
39 Blackheath Secondary School Dennemere 1010
40 Great Brak River Primary School Great Brak River 1020
41 Thandokhulu High School Mowbray 1110
42 Pelican Park Primary School Pelican Park 500
43 Rylands Primary School Rylands 620
44 Yellowwood Primary School Mitchell's Plain 1100
45 Sithembele Matiso Secondary Gugulethu 1100
46 Esselen Park Primary School Worcester 1175
47 Vanguard Primary School Athlone 830
48 Ceres Secondary School Ceres 1110
49 Aloe Junior High School Mitchell's Plain 920
50 Sullivan Primary School Steenberg 585
51 Strandfontein High School Strandfontein 800
52 Morester Secondary School Oudtshoorn 955
53 Parkdene Secondary School George 1095
54 Klein Nederburg secondary School Paarl 1070
55 Lavendar Hill High School Lavender Hill 850
56 Tembaletu Lsen school Gugulethu 125
57 Heathfield High School Heathfield 875
58 Manenberg High School Manenberg 800
59 Montevideo Primary School Montana 1020
60 Robinvale High School Atlantis 1135
61 De Kruine Secondary School Touws River 565
62 Hillwood Primary School Lavender Hill 1100
63 Belvue Primary School Belhar 1050
64 Cavalleria Primary School Kraaifontein 1170
65 Helderkruin Primary School Eerste River 1355
66 Battswood Art Centre Grassy Park 3500
67 Phakamisani Primary School Plettenberg Bay 1055
68 Cravenby Combined School Cravenby 1260
69 Levana Primary School Lavender Hill 1035
70 Westville Primary School Mitchell's Plain 1150
71 Beacon Hill High School Mitchell's Plain 1065
72 Kannemeyer Primary School Grassy Park 620
73 Fairmount Secondary School Grassy Park 895
74 Tafelsig High School Mitchell's Plain 1180
75 Hexvallei Secondary School De Doorns 1400
76 Masivuke Primary School Philippi 1410
77 Langa High School Langa 715
78 Portland High School Mitchell’s Plain 1375
79 Parkhurst Primary School Mitchell’s Plain 1250
80 Ashton Secondary School Ashton 1015
81 Northpine Primary School Northpine 980
82 Kerria Primary School Atlantis 1300
83 Kairos Secondary School Heidelberg 500
84 Bonteheuwel High School Bonteheuwel 715
85 Ferndale Primary School Ottery 670
86 Sir Lowry's Pass Primary School Sir Lowry's Pass 1285
87 Ridgeview Primary School Mosselbay 1015
88 Harvester Primary School Mitchell's Plain 1080
89 West End Primary School Mitchell's Plain 1575
90 Witzenberg Primary School Wolseley 900
91 Isalathiso Primary School Mossel Bay 1100
92 Dr. van der Ross Primary Belhar 1250
93 Masiyile Secondary School Khayelitsha 1160
94 Percy Mdala High School Knysna 975
95 Noorder Paarl High School Paarl 1300
96 Mitchells Plain School of Skills Mitchells Plain 600


Garden Cities' new Hillcrest gated village at Pinehurst 

Homes up to 300m2 with upmarket finishes 

Garden Cities is developing Hillcrest, its newest, most upmarket village at Pinehurst, which was established 16 years ago as the company’s northern areas flagship on the border of Durbanville. 

Planned to accommodate over 3 000 homes, Pinehurst is nearing completion. One of the most successful suburbs of its kind in the Cape metropole, it was, at an early stage in its progress, named among the developments with the highest annual capital growth. 

The new luxury development, Hillcrest, features large single and double-storey houses up to 300 m2 on relatively smaller plots starting in size from 500m2 for more effective resource management and conservation. The houses feature totally revamped upmarket finishes, with Bosch 900 gas/electric ovens, Revelstone paving and frameless shower doors. All homes have either a braai room or a roofed patio with built-in braai. 

In line with the high specifications for the new homes at Hillcrest, the gated village will have 24-hour guarded access, and one of the several parks will feature a communal lap pool for residents. 

To minimise the strain on resources such as water, power and fuel, streetside gardens and verges at Hillcrest will be hard landscaped with gravel and planters, and will no longer feature grass. As a further conservation measure, grey water systems are being installed in each house, as part of the project, and rainwater harvesting is under consideration. 

A major advantage of Hillcrest, which is situated high on the Pinehurst site with views over the mountains and winelands, is its proximity to the Meridian Pinehurst School and the Pinehurst neighbourhood shopping centre, both of which are within walking distance. 

Prices of the houses, which are available from May this year for both owners and investors, range from R2.6 million to R3.6 million. 

For more information on other progress at Pinehurst phone:
Brenda - 073 040 5574 
Julina - 082 739 4957


Green Leadership


The Western Cape’s oldest residential development company, 100-year-old Garden Cities, has taken a lead in the application of South Africa’s most up-to-the-minute construction code.

Five years ago, the company’s board had already adopted the new SANS 10400-XA regulations related to green building, and has drafted guidelines for interpretation of the code as well as its practical application. Produced by the South African Bureau of Standards, the rules set the standard for environmental sustainability and energy usage in buildings, and now form part of the National Building Regulations.

‘We embraced many of the principles of the code well in advance of the publishing of the regulations and have now produced guideline documents at all levels in order to comply fully with the code,’ said CEO of Garden Cities, John Matthews. The documents include an executive summary, the company’s environmental policy and a green building framework, all to serve as its reference for all involved in current and future development.

The company has also produced written guidelines for use by buyers and occupants to help them live and benefit from the green principles and options that are fast taking over the commercial and residential property environment in South Africa. Innovations such as giving residents their own earthworm farms and recycling bins are under consideration.

The working documents and guidelines are all in line with the principle of  ‘R to the power of three’ – Recycle, Reduce and Re-use, says Matthews. The Garden Cities Board believes that with the scale of the company’s operation it is in a position to have a significant impact on changing the mindset of the wider community to adopt green solutions.

‘Being nearly 100 years old, Garden Cities is of course, through its history of construction, conversant and compliant with many of the principles enshrined in the new code, including concerns with insulation and fenestration,’ said Matthews. ‘Many of the new principles have been part of our construction philosophy since the very beginning,’ he said.

The company also took steps, in advance of the publishing of the code, to introduce conservation measures such as heat pumps or solar panels for domestic hot water in their new residential construction.

Among the measures being taken in Garden Cities homes are under-roof-tile reflective insulation and ceiling boards coated with a layer of insulation.  Hot water storage cylinders are insulated and served by heat pumps, which use 70% less electricity than conventional geysers, or, in some instances, solar panels are installed. Timing switches to disconnect pumps at low-use times are also provided.

Window sizes are determined by their position on the different elevations of the house so that heat loss and gain can be controlled.  Windows, in addition to being size-appropriate, will also be subject to further modification to prevent heat transmission.

‘The code provides the way forward for South African construction. It will in the long term make an enormous difference to the conservation of energy and enhance the sustainability of our resources,’ says Matthews.


Green Leadership


The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded a 4-star Green Star Sustainable Precinct certification – the first in Africa – to a project that will be built by historic Cape Town development company, Garden Cities NPC (RF), as a further phase of its flagship Cape West Coast suburb, Sunningdale.

John Matthews, Group CEO of the company, which celebrates its Centenary this year, has welcomed the award as a fitting acknowledgement of Garden Cities’ leading role in the green building movement. Commenting on the 46.3 out of a targeted 48.3-point score achieved for the project, he said it reflected the company’s efforts to meet the highest possible levels of sustainability, standards and quality of life for residents of its suburbs.

The award was made to the planned Northridge Coastal Village (Sunningdale Phase 13A) after assessment of the project by the GBCSA, applying key criteria contained in the council’s Sustainable Precincts tool that evaluates large scale development projects at a precincts or neighbourhoods level. Unlike the other Green Star tools, the emphasis is on the site-wide, rather than building-specific issues. The tool rates the planning, design and construction of a precinct only and it does not rate specific buildings or assess its operation.

Manfred Braune, Green Building Council South Africa’s Chief Technical Officer said it was the GBCSA’s objective to inspire growth and innovation in the property sector through initiatives that demonstrate South Africa’s ability to effectively place environmental issues at the heart of design, building and operation to achieve better, greener buildings, and now precincts.

Founder of Terramanzi Group, Fabio Venturi and teammate Claire Holton, the sustainable design consultants tasked with this ground-breaking certification, said they felt a massive sense of relief and achievement following a rigorous certification process in which their work was vetted by both the Green Building Council of South Africa and the Green Building Council of Australia.   Venturi attributes  the remarkable achievement to dedicated teamwork and collaboration. He said the process had been driven by a talented professional team partnered by a passionate client, whose commitment to sustainability helped the design reach its full potential in line with global sustainable design benchmarks.

During its 100-year history, Garden Cities has prioritised sensitive development and environmental awareness and sustainability in the 16 suburbs and developments it has created.

In 2012 the company produced its initial Green Policy, Green Framework, and a supporting Home Owners’ Guide - a living document which is consistently updated.  Subsequently the company has produced Supplier, Consultant and Contractor Greening Guides as part of greening the value chain. With an over-arching vision document, the guides cover a spectrum of green concerns – water, energy and materials.

‘The next logical progression for Garden Cities is to achieve our objective of ‘zero waste to landfill’ in all our projects,’ said Renier Smith, Group Manager, Engineering and Planning.

‘The GBCSA’s Green Star Sustainable Precinct Tool aligns perfectly with our vision to ensure environmentally sustainable developments with minimal impact.

‘We have come to the realisation that the only way to attain radical goals that were once thought to be the unachievable, is to formalise and implement them with focus and drive,’ said Smith.

Venturi applauds what he describes as a visionary and committed approach by Garden Cities.  ‘With pressing global climate change and resource challenges there has never been a more appropriate time for bold leadership in the property sector to create a meaningful and measured difference on this planet for now  and for generations to come.

Apart from its impact on sustainability, said Manfred Braune, there was a compelling business case for green building. ‘Studies continue to show dramatic increases in quality of life for occupants of sustainably built homes, offices and schools. One of the key factors in this improvement is better quality of indoor air and light which is beginning to influence decisions made by tenants and potential buyers.

‘The demand for green buildings is growing rapidly, as property developers and property owners become more aware of their environmental footprint and the cost benefits of building green, and tenants favour energy efficient and more productive spaces.

‘Building green is no longer a lofty ideal. We can now see the tangible benefits that are tied to sustainability in the African context and the fact that within three years the South African industry anticipates that there will be a much higher level of green building activity is encouraging.’


Green Leadership


Greenville Garden City residents restore Mosselbank corridor 

A successful community initiative aimed at rehabilitating and maintaining the social, ecological and amenity value of the Mosselbank River corridor in Greenville Garden City, Fisantekraal is well established  and operating from its headquarters in the development.

The Mosselbank River Conservation Team (MRCT)  has built and resourced a community-based project crewed by local volunteers, to ensure the river is restored to its natural state and becomes a thriving environment with a range of benefits for the local Greenville community.

Garden Cities, developers of the 767ha new town, Greenville, have sponsored a container which serves as an office and storage space for the team. Fitted out, it has created a base for the team, focusing members’ sense of responsibility and accountability.

The container is emblazoned with images and information about the collaborative and all its events, with the object of attracting more volunteers to the programme, and to educate the wider Fisantekraal community.

Many beneficial and positive gains have been achieved since the launch in 2017, but most importantly, MRCT members have continued to put in hours of dedicated work on the Mosselbank River and community.

The MRCT is a group comprised of volunteers based in Greenville Garden City that together tackle some of Fisantekraal’s environmental issues, but more specifically, issues related to the Mosselbank River.

The core team includes Elizabeth Maans (Chair), Christene Gelant (Vice-chair), Thembakazi Ngcobo (Secretary), Gert Kraai (Store Manager) and John Claasen (Security and maintenance officer). Additional members include Esmeralda Julies (Stand-in Secretary), Lulama Dyobhani (Treasurer), Caroldene Prins (Stand-in Treasurer), Magdalena De Bruyn, Isak Jonkers and Marius Jansen.

The team was initially identified and established by Elizabeth Maans who was one of the very first residents of Greenville, where she has become an influential community leader. From the time she first occupied her new home, she decided to start cleaning the roads and river as a community service.

At the outset, when the new homes began to be occupied, Garden Cities, which is committed to helping create harmonious and environmentally responsible communities in its suburbs, invited the participation of residents who had a passion for the environment.

Ms Maans tackled the recruitment with enthusiasm, and, says Garden Cities’ Group CEO John Matthews, the team is growing in strength under her the strong leadership.

The duties of the team include monitoring and reporting of pollution; river quality; reporting fires; undertaking litter runs; weeding; clearing of alien vegetaton and educating local residents about the importance of a healthy river.

Currently, the team conducts litter runs every second week and community clean-up days once a month. The Mosselbank River rehabilitation is now in its maintenance period and the MRCT, together with local community members, has been employed to assist with the maintenance.

The team is promoting environmental education within the community by linking up with other NGOs and social development programmes in the community. Members promote awareness of illegal dumping issues, stray cattle (and the impact on the river), the purpose of the river rehabilitation, and the danger of fires. Events hosted by MRCT include World Wetlands Day, World Water day, World Rivers Day, and Mandela Day.

They are developing their skills through First Aid training, snake handing and administrative tasks, while also learning from other river maintenance teams, such as the Friends of Liesbeek (FOL).

The establishment of this group was facilitated through a small grant from the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) that provided equipment, personal protective clothing and training.


Archway Foundation


The Garden Cities Archway Foundation, established 16 years ago to alleviate the enormous shortfall of school halls in the Western Cape, also collaborates with a UWC programme aimed at redressing the low levels of science and maths skills.

The Archway Foundation is among the institutions providing funds not only to help train the teachers, but to fit and equip science laboratories in the schools.

The science learning centres are provided complete with the entire infrastructure that includes hardware, equipment and chemicals, as well as the training of teachers in their use.

The programme was initiated by Professor Shaheed Hartley, Director of the Science Learning Centre for Africa in the faculty of Education the University of the Western Cape (UWC). It enhances the skills in science teachers to enable them to bring science and maths to acceptable levels in junior schools.

Now, tens of thousands of Western Cape children have access to the science laboratories that they lacked. The programme is planned to continue its work for the foreseeable future.

In the laboratories, 40 to 50 children at a time can receive science instruction at modular octagonal workstations, and teaching is done with the assistance of an interactive whiteboard on to which lessons are downloaded. Practical demonstrations are given with chemicals and equipment also provided by donor funds.

Professor Hartley both devised the programme and designed the laboratories that have been put into existing classrooms in the chosen schools.

The programme includes training sessions for teachers and the establishment of science clubs at schools. An annual inter-school science competition also helps identify the schools that are most likely to benefit from the science laboratory programme.

The Board of Garden Cities believes that the participation of the company and Foundation in education initiatives ensures the enhancement of skills in the trades, and that this in turn improves the quality of the work eventually done on building and development projects that are core to its business.


Archway Foundation


It’s more urgent than ever for the private sector to help alleviate the enormous shortfall in essential education facilities. Government is not keeping up with the existing and increasing needs of schools. Millions of children are not getting what they need for a comprehensive education.

These are among the preoccupations of John Matthews, CEO of the 100-year-old Garden Cities, the Western Cape’s oldest and largest residential development company. Matthews resolved while he was still at school to do what he could to improve facilities for education in disadvantaged communities. And he has.

The Garden Citeis Archway Foundation that was established for the purpose shortly after he took office, has made a big dent in the shortfall of hundreds of school halls. Since it started, the Foundation has been responsible for the building of 100 school halls, alone or with the collaboration of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). The foundation is endowed with funds from the company’s profits to do its work.

More recently, the Archway has also been partnering the University of the Western Cape to provide science laboratories for schools in need in the province, and so far, it has collaborated in scores of these projects. The labs are provided complete with the entire infrastructure that includes hardware, equipment and chemicals, as well as the training of teachers in their use.

‘Growing up, I knew what it was like to go to a school that lacked all the things that teachers then, and particularly now, consider absolutely essential to a holistic education. Things like the halls - which nearly a million kids in the Western Cape still today don’t have - are not add-ons or luxuries. Without them, it will be an ongoing struggle to achieve world-level education standards.

'And there’s actually no reason whatsoever that our children shouldn’t have the best education the world can offer. It’s all in the will of the people who have the power to create the change.'




Every doggy need catered for at canine leisure centre

Since Garden Cities planned, constructed and then launched Leadville Dog Park for the canine residents of Sunningdale in December 2016, daily, an estimated 120 dogs with their owners visit and enjoythe facility off Braselton on Leadville Road.

The park is on a hectare of land provided by Garden Cities at Sunningdale, where  development  started over 20 years ago.   The company created the landscaped doggie playground areas, features, and a 180m2 building with a large veranda, at the entrance to the park, to accommodate services related to the care and comfort of dogs – and a coffee shop for their owners.

Although the park was provided at the cost of Garden Cities, it is now maintained by the City of Cape Town as a public amenity, and to ensure the ongoing success and high quality of services provided the park relies on dog owners taking responsibility for controlling their pets’ behaviour, and removing their droppings.

The park is another of the many infrastructural elements in Sunningdale, provided by Garden Cities. As part of its holistic development philosophy, the 100-year-old company includes services that will be needed by residents, such as commercial centres, schools and sports facilities.

The dog park was a new departure for the company in accordance with the growing canine population of Sunningdale. It is on Leadville Way, just off the main artery Braselton Road at the edge of the developed area to the east of the growing suburb that now comprises nearly 3 300 homes.

The facility has been enthusiastically adopted by residents - it features a walking path around an enormous open area in the shape of a giant thigh bone. Paw print patterns feature in the pavers on the gravel paths and in the shapes of smaller areas of lawn

A fence to prevent pooches wandering too far surrounds the park, but the open play area will also tie into the future green belt that meanders through the development. This will extend the scope of the park’s offering, with owners able to walk their dogs on leads in the public open spaces accessed through the formal dog park.