SEF Partner Presentation: Lit District

Each month, partners present on the work they are doing as part of the JICP’s SEF project.

The Lit District is a collective project that aims to showcase the district’s culture. Centred around the city’s main library, the area is home to an abundance of booksellers, places of interest and historic landmarks.

The SEF Programme allows The Lit District to not only keep the district clean but to also spread awareness while sourcing the neighbourhood with resources.


  • 20 participants in locality
  • Theme: placemaking and greening
  • Focus on greening the library park
  • Maintaining the park and creating new landscaping plans
  • Planted new trees and plants
  • Future projects: collecting donations to replant grass

Rissik Street Post Office

  • 20 participants in locality
  • Theme: placemaking
  • Focus: restoring heritage building to make it a functional public resource area
  • Activities: replacing windows and ensuring usable toilets
  • 20% of overall participants were the homeless people living in this building prior to the SEF programme. Through SEF some of the homeless people can now afford alternative accommodation in shelters.Bridge Books
  • 20 participants in locality
  • Theme: Community and Arts
  • Focus: storytime events and street libraries
  • Activities: donated a library to Siyafunda Foundation which helped two primary schools in the community.
  • Future projects: Donating 1000 children’s books in local languages to street libraries and reading programmes


  • Creative writing and translation training – finding creative ways to earn extra income
  • Neighbourhood Ambassador Training – awareness and way finding. Focus on the district and underground booksellers.
  • Historic tour guide – capitalising on the history of Johannesburg; circulating historic information to preserve culture.

Participant Experience
Tshepiso Mokoeng

Joined the program and was empowered to join The Miss Jozi Pageant with her core values to raise mental health awareness and access to books for young children.

Karabo Maboya

Initially joined the program as a librarian assistant and has now become a supervisor for the bridge books locality. Advocate for literacy in schools, leads our reading programmes at the Salvazione Primary School. Pursuing a joint project to help schools in townships to have reading programs sponsored through the Lit District.

Community Benefit

Library Garden: ensuring it’s safe usage by community
Street libraries: educational and creative resources for communities
Main City Library: working with JHN to reopen largest resource centre in Johannesburg

Through various projects, The Litary District has received support from the following stakeholders:

National Arts Council – creative project financial funding.
Hugging Hands – trees and plants to green the park. Additional volunteers.
National Heritage Counsel – collaborative efforts to preserve the Rissik St Post Office

The JICP (through JICSEP) is a Strategic Implementing Partner (SIP) of the Social Employment Fund (SEF) working with 10 partners to create a total of 1358 work opportunities in Johannesburg.