Ridge City: Mariannridge Community Development Organisation

Ridge City (formerly called Transformation Mariannridge) is a community development organisation in Mariannridge which was started in January 2007 by Jake Pieterse, Emily Griffits and Liz Marillier. It is based in the same building as Mariann Co- ordinating Committee (MCC), another community development organisation and the Mariannridge library.

Focus of Ridge City
The focus of Ridge City is economic, social, spiritual transformation and enterprise and business development in Mariannridge and surrounding areas such as KwaDabeka

Social Transformation

Community Make-overs
Ridge City has done community make-overs for the Mariannridge Primary and High school, Mariannhill Police station and on private homes. The aim of this project is to encourage the community members to love, care and have pride in their community.

Youth Development

  • The arts academy offers dance, drama, fine arts, piano and drum lessons after school for the youth at Ridge City.
  • Royal Rangers is a Scouts based programme which teaches children leadership skills.
  • Transformers is a soccer team of under eleven and thirteen year old boys. Ridge City looks after the Transformers who also compete in the Chatsworth soccer league.
  • Soup Kitchen for scholars is run once a week from the Ridge City Offices.
  • Holiday and training programs are also run by Ridge City.

Economic Transformation- Enterprise and Business Development

RC procures finances from companies to provide interest-free loans to community members to start their own businesses. Training and support are given to entrepreneurs for the first three years to enable them to sustain and make a success of their businesses.

Ridge Cafe
Ridge cafe is a coffee shop and take-away which is run by the community for the community. The cafe is used by community members to sell their home-made confectionaries.

Eden Day-Care Centre
Eden Day-Care Centre is located near the Mariannhill Monstrary and owned by Mrs Daleen Dickens who was assisted by Ridge City in getting the business started.

Saturday Morning Market
The Saturday morning market was also started by Ridge City and Mariann Co-ordinating Committee (MCC) to assist their volunteer workers to generate an income. The idea is also to create economy for the community.

Family and Organisation Support

  • Food parcels, financial assistance, assistance in finding employment or to open a business is given to families who need help.
  • Medical treatment from a doctor is given free to sickly children who’s parents cannot afford to pay.
  • Home based care community health workers receive donations from RC in the form of financial and medical supplies.

Spiritual Development
Ridge city is closely associated with His Church (Pinetown) and runs different spiritual activities which are open to all Christian denominations.

Projects for 2010

  • Open a community Gymnasium
  • Open a safe-house (cluster home) for troubled teenage girls
  • Make-over for the Mariannridge clinic

By Beverley Webster

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