Whether you say barbecue, barby, ukuwosa inyama, shisa nyama or braai, whether you pair it with garlic bread, green salad or pap, the soft hissing sound of meat on the grill and the wafts of smoke and flavour floating in the air resonates with all South Africans.

South Africans may disagree on a lot of things but braaing is a shared social custom that cuts across all race, religious, social and age divisions.

Call it convenient, fun, an effective cooking method or even a national obsession, but braaing is inherent in the culture of our country.

It is for this reason that our national heritage day, celebrated on 24 September, is also known as national braai day. This is when all South Africans whip out the braaibak, get the potato salad going and partake in an activity that seems to unite us all.

And while you may already have your braai day menu planned out to the T, why not turn the day into a neighbourhood event? What could be better than having your neighbours over for a chat and a chop?

Heritage day presents the perfect opportunity to foster connections with your community. Neighbours who know each other look out for one another.

But how exactly do you go about arranging a neighbourhood braai? Well, we’re here to help!

1.Location

First things first, decide on where you will host the braai. It could be your back yard or a neighbour’s. It could even be the local service lane or cul-de-sac, if you’re able to get permission from the city to use the public space.

Log onto your OurHood neighbourhood site and ask neighbours for suggestions. Ask them who would be willing to host the event or which department of your municipality to call. Posting on the OurHood notice will also gauge how many neighbours will be interested.

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2.Create the event

Now that you’re decided on a venue and neighbours seem keen, post an event on OurHood for neighbours to refer to.

Here is how to post an event:

3. Show off!

So you’ve created and event, had the braai and had a great time!  Show off how much fun the event was and encourage neighbours to do the same.

Having a reason to throw a party is always good! And partying with your neighbours is even better. There is no better way to get to know your neighbours than over food and drinks.

Your friendly neighbours at OurHood.

Connecting neighbours, strengthening communities.