Streetsmart Gives Cape Dining Scene Food for Thought

Street children in Cape Town get financial support from Streetsmart, bringing hope for 2007...

Three renowned Cape Town homeless shelters kick-started their projects for the New Year with a much needed financial injection by StreetSmart, the country's first and only fundraising initiative through leading restaurants in aid of the street children in the Mother City.

Geared for a bumper 2007, StreetSmart raised R150 000 from 26 Cape Town restaurants endorsing its charitable cause over the past year. Launched in 2005 under the patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, this non-profit initiative recruits restaurateurs to help raise funds in aid of The Homestead, Ons Plek and Learn to Live - a trio of organisations committed to the social development and rehabilitation of Cape Town street children.

Funds are raised through participating restaurants adding an optional R5 donation to each table's bill. This donation is left to the complete discretion of the diners who are also able to contribute more if they wish to.

Each of the three beneficiaries received a R50 000 contribution from the project.
Learn to Live, which provides education for abandoned children, will spend the money on educational workshops and life skills training in the months to come. With its mission to help homeless boys reconstruct their shattered lives, The Homestead will invest in its family re-integration programme whilst Ons Plek, the only shelter that takes in homeless girls, aims to improve its community re-integration programme. Ons Plek is a safe house for girls who do not only need food and shelter, but also a safe haven from violence that they may have endured.

The StreetSmart concept hit South African palates through local businesswoman, Margi Biggs, who founded the project following an overseas trip and dining in a London restaurant. There she spotted a card on the table that encouraged patrons to add a small amount to their bill in aid of the homeless kids, which inspired her to bring the initiative home.

Since its gradual inception StreetSmart has
gained impressive momentum in recruiting popular restaurants in Cape Town - currently the only city in the country that has such an initiative - and has in its first year of operation managed to raise just under a quarter of a million rand.

'We must congratulate the restaurants for doing such a sterling job and I foresee them making an even bigger impact in contributing to normalising the lives of some of the destitute kids living on our streets. It has been most heartening to see how Capetonians and visitors alike have taken StreetSmart on board," said an elated Biggs.

StreetSmart, which is also operational in the United Kingdom, San Francisco and Melbourne, is run by a group of concerned Capetonians and comprises resourceful board members representing business and the hospitality and tourism industries.

Registered as a Public Benefit Organisation, StreetSmart ensures that every cent donated by diners goes towards upliftment projects, with corporate sponsor, Specialized Tours & Events, taking care of all administrative costs.

The 25 participating restaurants in StreetSmart are:

  • 3-Thirteen at The Peninsula Hotel (Sea Point)
  • Ashton's at Greenways Hotel (Claremont)
  • Bon Appétit (Simons's Town)
  • Café Paradiso (Oranjezicht)
  • Cape Courtyard (Hout Bay)
  • Capers (Observatory)
  • Cargills (Rondebosch)
  • Catharina's at Steenberg Estate (Tokai)
  • Cattle Baron - The Grill House on Main (Newlands)
  • Emily's (V&A Waterfront)
  • Fogeys (Muizenberg)
  • Harveys at Winchester Mansions (Sea Point)
  • Jardine Restaurant Cape Town (Bree Street, Cape Town)
  • Khaya Nyama (Loop Street, Cape Town)
  • Marimba Restaurant & Cigar Bar (Foreshore, Cape Town)
  • Mario's (Green Point)
  • Nonna Lina (Gardens, Cape Town)
  • Ritz Restaurant (Sea Point)
  • Rozenhof (Gardens, Cape Town)
  • The Atlantic at The Table Bay Hotel (V&A Waterfront)
  • The Bayside Café (Camps Bay)
  • Tides (Camps Bay)
  • Wakame (Mouille Point)
  • Wasabi (Constantia)

Fabulous fair, sumptuous interiors and fine wine at Tryn at Steenberg.

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