Monday - Friday (08h00 - 16h30 )

In October 2010, National Treasury approved more than R48 million for the development of a community commercial park at Mlungisi. Construction started October 2011 and doors opened to the public in early 2014. 

The aim of the project is to provide a variety of essential community based retail services to Mlungisi residents and surrounding areas. Services include a satellite post office, a municipal pay point; community library, multipurpose community hall; and retail section, including a supermarket, market area, restaurant, hair salon, hardware store and clothing store. Additionally the centre has an entertainment area such as an amphitheatre and parking area.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, through its Natural Resource Management (NRM) unit, is in the process of removing alien invasive species, focusing on catchment areas, with the aim being to improve stream flow. The activity involves the removal of alien plants and alien vegetation by either cutting or poisoning those plants, depending on the variety of the alien species. 

ASPIRE was contracted by the DEA to implement this project in various parts of the Amathole District Municipality. It was agreed that ASPIRE would be cleaning and clearing the allocated areas of alien invasive plants and trees; mainly black wattle, lantana and bugweed. The project was  implemented at Diya, Ngqamakhwe, Shixini and Willowvale. The initiative also aimed at creating much needed jobs whilst also empowering the local communities in various skills. This initiative is also aligned to the ASPIRE strategy as it focuses on the most vulnerable groups (i.e. youth, women and people with disabilities) whilst it also focus on the restoration of natural resources. 

Twenty five contractors and 317 beneficiaries were employed during the implementation of the project.




The construction of a retreat to accommodate approximately 50 artists in a park like setting , where they could relax and be inspired was the dream behind the construction of the Hamburg artist retreat.


Sod-turning for the Hamburg Artists’ Retreat took place on 30 August 2010. Construction started the following month, employing some 40 local Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers on the site at any given time. This led to workers being trained in a number of focus areas, including manhole construction, plumbing, carpentry and brick laying. 

Through a process of community and municipal engagement, the retreat was branded and a new name that reflects its purpose and location: Emthonjeni, which means spring or well, a place of sweet water. 



EMTHONJENI ARTS is a Section 21 company with a Board combining local, provincial, national and international expertise:                   


The Board have adopted a revised statement of the Vision, Mission and Aims of the Project:



EMTHONJENI ARTS' world class arts and cultural programmes- in its buildings, in the local community and beyond - will be an integral part of the social and economic regeneration of Hamburg Town Centre and its surrounding areas



To create a unique and celebrated space in South Africa's arts landscape and use it as a catalyst for economic growth and social and cultural development




to build, maintain, manage and operate an Artists' Residency of international standard within the Town of Hamburg

to offer artists from the locality, Province, South Africa, Africa and beyond the opportunity to be 'in residence'

to work with the communities of the Ixesi river to offer opportunities for creative cultural engagement for resident artists

to promote the development of the cultural and creative industries in Amathole, maximising their contribution to the economy;

to participate in coordinating frameworks for community development and the growth of local businesses

to work to stimulate cultural tourism by programming and by assisting with the marketing of Hamburg, the river valley and Amathole.

The current state of the taxi rank and the conditions under which informal traders was identified as an area that must be improved. Trading conditions in the area around the taxi rank are chaotic, unhealthy and unsustainable. 

The project involves improving the existing conditions at the Alice taxi rank by providing public access to an uncongested public transport hub with enhanced trading facilities for informal traders. Construction work for the upgrade commenced during October 2017.  The project is funder by the NDPG fund via National Treasury.


Our Mission

Contributing to the betterment of its communities’ lives through a participatory development process to ensure that they have access to socio-economic opportunities