There are currently a number of community projects running in Kenneth Gardens.
The Community Development Programme (CDP) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is a multi-disciplinary research and teaching programme which focuses on the broad areas of social development and socio-economic reconstruction. The Programme is located in the School of Built Environment and Development Studies, which offers both undergraduate and post-graduate study. The School offers exciting study and research opportunities in a well-resourced environment. The Community Development Programme, in partnership with the Durban University of Technology (DUT) is currently committed to a 3 year research and outreach project in Kenneth Gardens.
Kenneth Gardens is located in Umbilo, Durban, and forms part of an extensive network of cluster housing schemes developed by the apartheid government, as part of government’s protectionist strategy to provide safe and affordable housing to poor and working class whites. There are an estimated 282 units in Kenneth Gardens spread over 28 blocks. An estimated 1500 – 1800 people are accommodated in this fairly high density housing estate. There are a handful of white residents who live in Kenneth Gardens and have been in the corporate housing system for two or more generations. They have been and continue to be utterly dependent on the state. Black ‘newcomers’ are currently the largest constituency within Kenneth Gardens. This has dramatically changed the landscape of these once-protected white zones. What brings people together in this space is shared socio-economic circumstances. Preliminary research conducted by a group of researchers from UKZN indicates that there are a wide range of social problems within the estate, including fairly high level of unemployment; drug and alcohol addiction; family violence; isolated and neglected elderly residents; apathetic children and young adults with low self-esteem and limited aspirations; a range of safety threats; HIV and other chronic illnesses; and some incidences of racial and cultural intolerance.