Construction of Vukuzenzele Community Hall

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Focus Areas: Public Amenities

This project involves the construction of a community hall for community use in Vukuzenzele Housing Development, Philippi, Cape Town. The aim was to provide the community with a space to meet, save, and plan for future development. The community has been involved in the decision making for the community centre and its construction. This project is seen as a model for development in other settlements. It has already gone to scale in being replicated in Langrug settlements and to a smaller degree in Sheffield Road, both in Cape Town, and in Slovo Park, Johannesburg. Challenges for this project include savings groups reaching previously experienced strength in order to complete overall development. 

Location: Philippi, Cape Town, South Africa
Bunita Kohler (+27) 21 689 9408 View Website
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Project information updated: 24 March 2014

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The South African Alliance of the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC), Informal Settlement Network (ISN), Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP), and uTshani, the national urban poor fund, started work on this project in 2011. The Vukuzenzele land was purchased by uTshani Fund in 1996 with the aim of it serving many purposes. About 210 houses were built on the site and services have been provided. Since then there has been little activity on the site. The construction of a community centre was conceptualized as a way to resurrect the community and complete development in the area. People’s Environmental Planning (PEP) (an NPO that was started as a support for the Federation) was approached to conduct this work and Alliance partner, Ikhayamlami, was appointed to do the upgrading.
There will be no recovery of funds in the short term.  Yet in the longer term the centre is planned to be used for other social amenities. Conversations are ongoing with a local NGO to introduce a crèche and an old age home. Challenges for sustainability include that some savings gropus in the area are weak due to a lack of interaction with other Federation members and savings groups. Ritualised savings serves as a constant block for Federation success. Rather, community assets should be generated as a contribution (saving with a purpose) helping to leverage for external funds. 

Funding Information



Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

South African SDI Alliance