Federation Housing Project at Amatikwe

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Focus Areas: Housing

The project sees the construction of 74 housing units in Amatikwe, Inanda, in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Construction was pre-financed by uTshani fund to be re-paid by government subsidy funds. Applications were made to the Provincial Government yet funds have not been repaid. Prior to construction the community saved for three months, doing site allocations and house modeling and costing. A community construction team was set up to build the houses with all being built by February 2001. Successful housing delivery by the Federation in this project and others helped keep open the space for community driven housing initiatives. Between 1997 and 2001 the Federation built 2717 houses in KZN. Inanda was the major centre for learning, setting precedents for replication of similar projects with Amatikwe Housing being one of several lead projects in Inanda. It earned the Federation national, provincial, and international recognition and accolades. Projects such as those in Namibia Stop 8 (a housing project in Inanda) learned skills from Amatikwe. A challenge encountered by the project was the Government’s lack of repayment. This was not only a setback for the Federation but stagnated the increase of beneficiaries, thus part of the project’s objective failed.

Location: Amatikwe, Durban, South Africa
Bunita Kohler sdi@courc.co.za (+27) 21 689 9408 View Website
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Project information updated: 15 May 2014

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This project was launched by the South African Alliance of the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP) and uTshani the national urban poor fund in October 1999 with support from the Amatikwe Savings Scheme. Amatikwe is part of the larger township of Inanda on the outskirts of Durban. Rapid population growth of the area started with the demolition of Cato Manor settlement starting in the late 1950s as well as droughts in rural areas of the province. This lead to many of KZN’s poor moving migrating here. The 1980s saw violent territorial conflicts between political parties the Inkatha Freedom Party and United Democratic Front/African National Congress (ANC). The long-term result of this is ANC hegemony of the settlement, which has been exercised at the expense of deep democratic participation by citizens in the area. At this time, in part to deal with land title complexities the Government embarked on a large site and service scheme in the area moving over 3000 families from freehold land (where they were tenants) to state land where they had the option to purchase. Many community leaders who grew out of this played an important role in the emergence of growth of the Federation in the area. By the 1990s Amatikwe was an informal settlement that had been regularized and demarcated into serviced sites by the Independent Development Trust (IDT), a Government affiliated development agency. The Federation has sought to get the State to fund community planning and housing as well as influence Government policy on a larger scale, focusing on land tenure and housing. Even though the Federation and its partners successfully got housing delivery off the ground long before other stakeholders, a later private sector focus on anti-poor planning regulations and disregard for poor people’s initiatives in 1994 – 1999 stagnated this progress.
Loan repayments by members was adversely affected by the dysfunctional subsidy environment. The project was unable to recover subsidy money from Government. This has a direct impact on the sustainability of project activity although the Federation was able to secure some Government and donor funding for other projects in the province. Efforts are still made by the Federation to recover funds from Government but the chances of a successful outcome in this regard decrease with each year.  

Funding Information



Fully funded

Implementing Partners



South African SDI Alliance