Ald Walker was representing the City of Cape Town with Cllr Ian Iversen. The two planted a tree to symbolise the beginning of a new era for Princess Vlei.
The tree was blessed by Sheikh Dr Muhammad Ridwaan Gallant, who said that the Prophet Mohammed taught us that if a person plants a tree, whenever any human being or bird benefits from the tree, the planter will be rewarded, and this will go on as long as the tree lives.
Bishop Christopher Gregorowski also blessed the tree, saying “A tree is always a symbol of life and we pray that this tree may symbolise a new beginning for Princess Vlei as we join hands with the City Council to beautify this place... we ask God’s blessing on this tree and on all we undertake as a city and a community in building up this place to be what God wants it to be... a beautiful place where we may meet each other and relationships may grow.”
Ald Walker assured the crowd that the City of Cape Town “will do everything that we can to bring Princess Vlei back to its original pristine condition, to improve it in a way that meets the needs from people from all over this city, not just the local community so that it becomes a busy place, a safe place, and a place that people think of with pleasure and pride.”
She thanked the Forum for continuing to work for the improvement of the vlei.
The day also marked the painting of a Mural at Princess Vlei by internationally renown graffiti artist Mak1one, who grew up nearby Princess Vlei. The mural is intended to depict the nature, community and heritage values of the space. Mak1one spoke about his passion for the project. “I love walls, I love the Cape Flats, I love the Princess Vlei... when you love something this much you just want to find the best way to honour it.”
The Princess Vlei Forum spent the day asking local picnickers what they would like to see at the Vlei. Chairperson Philip Bam said that the Forum intended to work with the City in prioritising and implementing those improvements identified through community consultation.