uTshani Fund

New Publication: Ruo Emoh – Our Home Our Story

By Academic, News, Publications, uTshani Fund No Comments

“We built the house as a practical statement. Of course we knew that it was illegal. We knew that we would have to suffer the consequences…. We did not try to interrupt negotiations – at every time we were ready to talk. All we wanted… was to ask them to come and look at the house… to see that the people’s process is better.” Janap Oosthuizen

It is with great pleasure that we share the Ruo Emoh booklet, documented in the past 6 months by SA SDI Alliance together with People’s Environmental Planning, UCT & University of Basel Masters students (part of the City Research Studios hosted by African Centre for Cities) and the community of Ruo Emoh. This booklet shares the story of Ruo Emoh (Our Home, spelt backwards) a housing project through which 49 families have moved into homes on a well-located piece of infill land in Colorado Park in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.

This booklet documents the project’s long history. It shares the housing histories and experiences of nineteen of the forty-nine families who self organised to change their living conditions and to become homeowners in Ruo Emoh. It narrates their stories and experiences, the hardships of their housing struggles, the challenges of organising to access secure housing, and the emotions and experiences of moving into new homes in this development.

At the heart of the booklet are stories of what is possible when a group of people are willing and able to organise, to build strategic alliances and to negotiate pragmatically over the long term. At the heart of the booklet are family hopes and visions for the future as they continue to build their lives as homeowners in Ruo Emoh. This booklet celebrates Ruo Emoh families who know best the realities of housing struggle and the hopes of home ownership. 

[spiderpowa-pdf src=””]Ruo Emoh, Our Home, Our Story

Restarting and Regaining Momentum: The Persistence of the Ruo Emoh Community

By CORC, FEDUP, ISN, News, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Mariel Zimmermann and Jaclyn Williams (on behalf of CORC)

Looking back at the two decade history of the Ruo Emoh housing project, we outline the primary political and social challenges the community faced and how they overcame these obstacles together. The main takeaways from the success of the Ruo Emoh housing project allow us to better understand how communities unite and why they continue to persist in the face of constant challenges. (Read the full project profile here.)

Project Overview

The success of the Ruo Emoh housing project was celebrated
 on December 22nd, 2017, when 49 families moved into new homes, built on a well-located piece of infill land on the corner of Weltevreden Parkway
 & Caesars Drive in Colorado Park, Mitchells Plain. The houses are located adjacent to public transport and nearby schools, a community hall, shops and a hospital. The process to bring the project to completion was, however, complex and contested, marked by the community’s persistent battle with government’s administrative and political hurdles, and contestation from the neighboring ratepayer groups.

Obstacles, Restarting, and Regaining Momentum

The struggle of Rou Emoh began in 1997, when backyarders and tenants strained by poor living conditions in Manenberg and Mitchells Plan created the Ruo Emoh Housing Savings Scheme. The savings scheme, established under the South African Homeless People’s Federation (now know as the Federation fo the Urban and Rural Poor), identified strategies to access land and later housing through the People’s Housing Process (PHP), a program initiated by the then Department of Housing.  

The Ruo Emoh group was convinced that they could build more appropriate houses than the contractor and government-led RDP approach. In June 1999, they demonstrated what a people’s housing approach could entail and within  3 days, they built an illegal, formal “show house” on vacant land in Mitchells Plain (read the whole story here). Neighboring residents (who were skeptical of the Ruo Emoh group) approached the Federation about the show house and saw that it offered a real alternative to contractor supplied housing. The next day, however, a bulldozer demolished the show house within 3 hours.

“We built the house as a practical statement. Of course we knew that it was illegal. We knew that we would have to suffer the consequences…. We did not try to interrupt negotiations – at every time we were ready to talk. All we wanted…was to ask them to come and look at the house… to see that the people’s process is better.” – Janap Oosthuizen (cited in People’s Dialogue on Land and Shelter, Negotiating for land: the construction and demolition of Ruo Emoh’s show house in Cape Town in August 1999.)

Archie Olkers presenting the model of the show house that was built in 1999.

Archie Olkers presenting the model of the show house that was built in 1999.

In 1999, the Ruo Emoh group, supported by the South African Homeless People’s Federation and uTshani Fund purchased a piece of undeveloped land in Colorado Park. At approximately 10,000m2 in size, the purchase of the plot enabled the community to begin designing, planning, coordinating and managing their own housing development. Applications for rezoning and subdivision were submitted to the city council and to the provincial government of the Western Cape. This initiated a slow engagement with statutes and regulations necessary to obtain subdivision clearance so that the land could be used for residential purposes.

At this stage, however, the Colorado Ratepayers Association (CRA) and other neighbours raised numerous objections. These were based on the assumption that the Ruo Emoh development would lower property values and strain basic service infrastructure for water, electricity and sewage. They also linked backyard dwellers with criminal activity. Ironically, many who objected had erected informal structures in their own back yards to accommodate children and relatives. Finally, after five years of back and forth, the subdivision was approved on 26 June 2006. 

From 2006 to 2010 the project was put on hold due to ongoing objections by neighbors and ratepayers. After 12 years of multiple setbacks, groundwork infrastructure was installed on the Ruo Emoh site on 8 June 2011.Shortly after the contractor initiated the groundwork infrastructure installation, ratepayers supported by
 the local councilor attempted to
 disrupt construction.Under political pressure the city reneged on the in-principle agreement and in July 2011 uTshani Fund (as the developer) received a “cease works order” from the city. The project was stopped at significant cost (and penalties) to the developer with half the infrastructure left incomplete in the ground.

As a result of these objections, the developer and Ruo Emoh community reluctantly ceded to a lower density 
for the project. Whereas the land was originally slated for 100 two-story houses, the project was reduced to 49 single-story houses. This compromise meant that fewer housing beneficiaries 
in the Ruo Emoh group would receive 
a house as part of the project, and those who did would need to pay more. It also meant that at a time when there was a cry for medium to high-density housing across South Africa (which would incorporate cross-subsidization and innovate building methods when using state subsidies), an opportunity was lost to create a people-centered project and process.


Despite the financial and emotional setback, the Ruo Emoh community, assisted by FEDUP, uTshani Fund, and Peoples’ Environmental Planning, worked to find funding, re-unite, and overcome the institutional and administrative hurdles needed to continue the Ruo Emoh project. After 18 months, the city council’s Spatial Planning, Environment and Land Use Management Committee (SPELUM) approved the extension of subdivision in November 2012. A series of drawn-out internal negotiations between the Ruo Emoh residents and support NGOs followed which resulted in a financial agreement to submit a new application to the Provincial government for an increased subsidy quantum. This amount was approved at the end of 2015. This left just one year to meet the conditions of subdivision that lapsed in early 2017. The most vital of these conditions were:

  1. An approved beneficiary list submitted and accepted by Province
  2. The installation of all infrastructure (civil and electrical)
  3. The construction of a boundary wall (around the development) at the cost of the developer
  4. The submission of a homeowner’s constitution with the local land use management department

What is noteworthy is that the cost of many of the above requirements was born by the community (e.g. constructing the boundary wall and ensuring site security).

Installation of the groundwork and building process of the Ruo Emoh housing project

Installation of the groundwork and building process of the Ruo Emoh housing project

Due to delays in releasing the subsidy and a number of onerous administrative tasks, housing construction only began in August 2017. Given the nature of the project, short time-frames and restriction on state finance, a “sweat equity”
or PHP self-build option was never going to be feasible. Community input in the design and layout was extensive. Mellon Housing was appointed as contractor and all houses were completed by December 22nd, 2017. On the same day, families received their title deeds and moved into their new homes. The Ruo Emoh residents paid the R6 500 per title deed, through a loan provided from People’s led fund, which will be paid back full within one year.

Ruo Emoh residents and PEP celebrating the happy end of the project with a community braai

Ruo Emoh residents and PEP celebrating the happy end of the project with a community braai

Women Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye

By CORC, FEDUP, ISN, Partnerships, SDI, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Skye Dobson (On behalf of SA SDI Alliance and SDI Secretariat. Original post here)


As the Black Panther movie continues to smash box office records and enthrall the world with fearless female African superheroes, a meeting in eThekwini last week suggests we brace ourselves for Women Transformers – coming to a city near you.

The words stretch out across her bosom: Women transforming the slums of our cities, the jet-black shirt and white lettering convey the same no-nonsense, bold authenticity as the woman with the sky-blue doek (headscarf) and thick wooden walking stick. Sitting at the shiny boardroom table in the Mayor’s parlor of the eThekwini Municipal Council offices, wiping the sweat from her brow, she looks decidedly like someone who understands that transformation is not a development cliché, but an overdue national imperative.

Mama Mkhabela, (full name, Nombulelo Anna Estevao) joined the shack dwellers federation (now called FEDUP) 30 years and one month ago. She recalls the first time she sat in on a savings group meeting in Lindelani informal settlement and heard women from the settlement talking about the need to come together to solve their problems. She says the women were telling each other that poor people can’t wait for government to give them things, but must start making change themselves. Shy and quiet back then, she recalls sitting back and listening to figure out what was going on. She soon joined the Sophumelela Savings Group and quickly gained the trust and respect of her fellow savers.

At first her husband was suspicious of her work with the federation. She recalls him secretly following her to a meeting in another community one time. The meeting lasted so long that he had to stay the night and help everyone get back to their places the following day. “From then on, he stopped fighting with me. He saw that I wasn’t up to any trouble and we were just working!” she says with a chuckle. The Sophumelela Savings Group secured housing loans from Utshani Fund – a part of the South Africa SDI Alliance – in 1999 and the women in the group set about building their own houses. Mama Mkhabela managed the loan repayments and moved from a bookkeeper to a treasurer and is now the regional leader of FEDUP in Kwa Zulu Natal. The region has 70 savings groups with 9,672 members and has built over 2,500 houses.

Mama Mkhabela had not come alone to see her mayor. Two comrades from FEDUP, Rose Molokoane and Emily Moholo, accompanied her. The three women have been engaged in the struggle to transform the lives of the poor for decades.

When apartheid ended and commitments were made to house the poor, there was a sense in many communities that the battle was won. Of course, it was soon painfully clear to communities living in shacks that the structure of society rather than the lack of houses was the true cause of their deepening poverty and exclusion. FEDUP and SDI supported communities in KZN to understand the need to shape policy and practice in the city – to support people-driven housing as well as informal settlement upgrading, improved livelihoods and savings, and better access to land and tenure security. “When we started”, says Mama Mkhabela, “there were very few women in city council. The officials were all men and they were very, very difficult. Only the late Patrick (former leader in FEDUP and the Informal Settlements Network) could penetrate the city.”

But times are changing.

Rose Molokoane, President of FEDUP and the Coordinator of SDI, grew up in an informal settlement called Oukasie in the South African town of Brits. Today Rose sits on a plethora of national and international bodies tasked with shaping land, housing, and urban policy and practice. Last year she was elected Chair of the World Urban Campaign where she champions the role of grassroots communities and local government partnership for implementing global agendas. On the international stage, eThekwini’s leadership frequently encounters Rose and other SDI community leaders. SDI’s unique local to global presence has slowly but surely convinced the city of the need to partner with shack dwellers in eThekwini and has quite literally secured these women a seat at the mayor’s table.

Emily Moholo, meanwhile, was born in Mafikeng and is a member of Ithuseng Savings Group. She is a regional leader of FEDUP in the Free State and chairperson of the provincial joint working group on partnerships between the municipality, provincial government, and the Federation. She is also a member of the SDI Management Committee, and supports the SDI affiliates throughout the Southern Africa region to build strong slum dweller federations and partnerships with local government.

Mama Mkhabela, Rose and Emily invited one of the Directors of the SDI Secretariat (a woman) and the Chief Executive Officer of Global Infrastructure Basil (another woman) to accompany them. The women’s joint mission was to: a) update the Mayor on the South African SDI Alliance’s work, b) request that their MOA with eThekwini Municipality’s Human Settlements Department be expedited and signed before the close of the financial year, c) request that the Know Your City campaign be recognized by the city as an important strategy for collaborative informal settlement action to build resilience and guide climate-friendly investment in infrastructure and upgrading, d) introduce the city to GIB and share an update on the SDI/GIB partnership, and e) to demonstrate SDI and the SA Alliance’s intention to increase support to city efforts to become a leader in inclusive climate and resilience informal settlement action and to accelerate implementation of commitments made in the New Urban Agenda towards the SDGs.

“We don’t come to the mayor looking for handouts” says Rose. “We’re bringing ideas, partners the city needs, and we’re ready to work.”

From the City’s side, there were three strong women at the table. Mayor Zandile Gumede is among a growing cadre of female mayors leading global discussions to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable urban citizens are at the center of climate change responses. She currently serves as the Chair of C40 Africa where she advocates this approach. Globally, the number of women mayors is rising rapidly, which many believe bodes well for inclusive resilience planning and implementation. Indeed, the Resilience Strategy of eThekwini Municipality, formally adopted by the eThekwini Municipality Council in August 2017, is spearheaded by an all-female team comprising Debra Roberts (award-winning global climate change leader), Jo Douwes, and Manisha Hassan, is a product of a four-year consultative process with a broad and diverse group of Durban’s stakeholders. The SA SDI Alliance provided critical inputs to one of the two critical Resilience Building Options of the Strategy, namely: collaborative informal settlement action.

The Mayor said that it was refreshing indeed to engage with groups so clearly seeking positive change. She expressed confidence in the Human Settlements team’s ability to get the MOA signed quickly to ensure stronger communication and implementation at greater speed. She recommended that implementation of the MOA involve the convening of administrative and political officials in order to strengthen leadership capacity at all levels. She highlighted the need to work together to advance the city’s 5 year agenda and to ensure eThekwini, the SA SDI Alliance, and SDI continue to collaborate at the local and global level to showcase the power of community-government partnership for implementation of global urban and climate agendas.

Chairing the meeting was former Head of Department for Human Settlements at eThekwini Municipality, and recently appointed Deputy City Manager for Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Transport, Beryl Mphakathi. Beryl has been a tireless champion of the partnership and MOA between the SA SDI Alliance and the Human Settlements Department. At the request of the team, she committed herself to ensuring the MOA is signed before the end of the current financial year. Beryl explained that the MOA is necessary to “formalize our partnership…to pull all our efforts together and to commit our capacity and time.” Beryl invited the Acting Head of Department for Human Settlements to attend the meeting and ensure the MOA is tabled in time.

When Mama Mkhabela speaks of Beryl she says, “Truly speaking I’m so happy. We are very lucky to have a woman in that position. I can say, she respects me. I respect her. She took a while to understand the federation, but when she did she started to call me her mother. Even if I call her at night she has to respond. If she can’t answer your question right away, she will call you back. We work hand in hand.” When women can forge authentic, humble, thoughtful relationships such as these, institutional partnerships between the city and communities that are based on respect and practical action emerge. Such partnerships have the potential to mitigate the overinflated egos, political turf battles, short-sighted and self-serving approaches that have characterized male-dominated city politics in eThekwini and beyond.

While the centrality of women’s social relationships as a critical resource in community-based political mobilization has long been recognized in South Africa and abroad, city decision making remains dominated by males. If the walls of the Mayoral Boardroom could talk they would have countless tales of hustlers hustling on behalf of their own personal interests. But these women are hustlers acting in the interest of their community. Women transformers from the community, the city, and the international development sector have the opportunity to generate practical collaborations and partnerships to shift the status quo through new models of leadership and pragmatic action aimed at improving the lives of communities. Critically, women transformers from the community must not devalue the power within themselves by elevating leaders or partners – male or female – above the grassroots collectives from which they emerged.

Let’s keep an eye on eThekwini’s community, professional, and government Women Transformers and see if, indeed, they can transform city governance and the slums of their cities as the t-shirt promises.


SDI is often asked, What about the men? Of course, men are an integral part of the SDI movement and the struggle for inclusive and resilient cities. In the meeting described, there were inspiring and committed male leaders and professionals: namely, Jeff Thomas from Utshani Fund, Ndodeni Dengo from Informal Settlement Network (ISN), and Arnotte Payne from CORC (all part of the SA SDI Alliance). These men toil hand-in-hand, day-in and day-out with the women mentioned in this blog. As a leader from SNCC (Civil Rights Movement in the USA) once said of working with strong women leadership, “you come to realize that manhood isn’t the ability to knock someone down but finding your own humanity.” Jeff, Ndodeni, and Arnotte embody this viewpoint and understand that it is not heroic individuals but committed organizers that will sustain a movement and transform the status quo.

Where to from here? Reflections on the Global and Local Urban Landscape

By CORC, FEDUP, ISN, uTshani Fund No Comments

As 2015 draws to a close, we reflect on global and localised responses to rapid urbanisation, the mushrooming of informal settlements and the position and potential of the urban and rural poor within these realities. In particular we examine the response and strategy of the South African SDI Alliance as it builds community capacity and advocates for the building of inclusive cities with inclusionary decision-making structures.


The Global Landscape

The year 2015 marked a significant transition in the global development agenda. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set new and ambitious targets for global development practice. While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) introduced socially responsible goals in national and institutional budgets and resource allocation, they did little to affect institutional decision-making.

FEDUP Saver, Sophie Mofokeng at Savings Gathering in Mahikeng, North West Province

FEDUP Saver, Sophie Mofokeng at Savings Gathering in Mahikeng, North West Province

For the urban poor, therefore, a post-2015 framework that foregrounds the influential inclusion of the poor is crucial. The challenge is for governments to rethink development institutions so that poor people are included in decision-making on finance, program conception and project implementation.

SDI start a session at World Urban Forum 7 with Alliance anthem

SDI start a session at World Urban Forum 7 with Alliance anthem

The SDGs also need to be clear about what we actually mean by “inclusion” and “participation”. For the SDI network, the key is not to dictate specific policies and interventions for every country but to articulate specific principles of institutional inclusion and material outcomes:

  • Inclusive institution building. State institutions to be created to embed partnerships with community organisations, especially at the city level to drive decision-making about programs and financial allocations for development of urban infrastructure.
  • Inclusive land management. Well-located land made available to the urban poor. This should ensure zero forced evictions, and grant security of tenure so as to make investment in infrastructure viable for both local government and slum dweller communities.
  • Inclusive urban infrastructure. Water, sanitation, electricity, and transport infrastructure that services the poor so as to achieve zero-open defecation cities globally within 10 years, electricity for all, and 100% improvement in life-affirming job opportunities over 10 years.
  • Inclusive community development. Programmatic investment by national and local authorities in capacity building of community organisations so as to continue deepening the inclusive development agenda highlighted in the first three elements.

Urban Poverty and South Africa 

Queuing for social grants in Bethal Mpumalanga

Queuing for social grants in Bethal Mpumalanga

South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 (NDP, Chapter 8) emphasises the need to address spatial divides that have been perpetuated by post-1994 policies, placing low-income housing on the periphery of cities. Recommendation include the upgrading of all informal settlements on suitable, well located land by 2030, ensuring better quality public transport, ensuring that people live closer to their places of work and more jobs in or close to dense, urban townships. 

Government’s Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for the electoral period 2014-2019 sets out to implement the NDPs vision with a focus on radical economic transformation and improved service delivery. Outcome 8 outlines the situation for human settlements: despite the delivery of 3.8million subsidised houses since 1994, 2700 informal settlements accommodate a further 1.2million households with 713 000 more households living in backyard shacks. The Department’s broad vision is to see “adequate housing and improved quality living environments with 1.5 million more households living in new or improved housing conditions by 2019” (MTSF Outcome 8, p.26). A prominent aspect includes the upgrading of 750 000 households and ensuring basic services and infrastructure in 2200 informal settlements through the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP).

FEDUP income generation initiative in Limpopo

FEDUP income generation initiative in Limpopo

However, the Department’s rapid appraisal of Outcome 8 (Oct. 2014) notes that UISP has not been applied as easily as was intended: the UISP grant has been used to fund alternative housing programs and has been characterised by a lack of deep community engagement. Similarly, the People’s Housing Process (PHP) was not generally “considered a programme for delivering at scale because of the community engagement element and the manner in which people are involved in building their own shelters” (Rapid Appraisal Outcome 8, p. 27). In response, a core recommendation relates to “an attitudinal shift amongst provinces and local government staff in terms of how they approach informality. A positive attitude is desirable “ (p.39).

Joint Planning in Khayelitsha Cape Town

Joint Planning in Khayelitsha Cape Town

The capacity and the will for building inclusive cities with inclusionary decision-making, project preparation and project implementation structures is low. The role of urban poor participation in building “integrated” human settlements seems to be marginal. The strategy of the SA SDI Alliance in response? Supporting shack dwellers with tools that enable them to know their communities and their cities in order to implement precedent-setting projects that leverage participatory and inclusive partnerships with government. Amandla Imali Nolwazi. Power is Money and Knowledge. Know Your Community, Know Your City to build inclusive cities.

FEDUP wins national Govan Mbeki award

By FEDUP, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC)

It is a pleasure to announce FEDUP’s award for best enhanced People’s Housing Process (ePHP) project at this year’s national Govan Mbeki Awards ceremony hosted by the Department of Human Settlements in Cape Town. FEDUP national coordinator, Rose Molokoane, received the award for the Mafikeng 200 housing project on behalf of FEDUP North West on 13 August 2015.

Rose Molokoane (left) with Bukiwe Matakane (CORC Savings Support) and Thozama Nomga (Western Cape FEDUP Coordinator)

Rose Molokoane (left) with Bukiwe Matakane (CORC Savings Support) and Thozama Nomga (Western Cape FEDUP Coordinator)

Govan Mbeki Awards

The annual award ceremony (established in 2006) aims “to promote and inculcate a culture of excellence within the human settlement sector in the delivery of quality human settlements and dignity to South Africans” (Reference). It acknowledges excellent achievements on a Provincial and National level in order to showcase the department’s work at both tiers and to promote best practice. (Read more here.)

FEDUPs partnership with Human Settlements

This is FEDUP’s fourth consecutive Govan Mbeki Award since 2012 and its first national award for ePHP, following provincial Govan Mbeki awards for housing projects in the North West (2012 & 2013), Kwa-Zulu Natal (2012), Gauteng (2013), and Patrick Magebhula Hunsley’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2014). The string of awards is testament to the partnership FEDUP has been building with various tiers of Human Settlements since democratic transition. Particular milestones in FEDUP’s advocacy with government are marked by government’s adoption of the People’s Housing Process (later ePHP) as a policy approach in 1998 and the Department’s long-term subsidy pledge to FEDUP in 2006. FEDUP, uTshani Fund and then national minister of housing, Lindiwe Sisulu, signed the pledge for 1000 housing subsidies per province in South Africa.

Mafikeng 200 Govan Mbeki Award

Mafikeng 200 Govan Mbeki Award

FEDUP’s partnership has thus been key in instituting an alternative approach to housing provision: the ePHP is community-centred and community–driven, activating communities as central role players. It outperforms developer-built subsidised housing in size, cost and quality, generates employment and construction skills and elevates the voice of the urban poor. Read more here. The remainder of this blog will detail FEDUP’s Mafikeng 200 housing project and explore what a continuing future partnership with the Department could like.

Mafikeng 200 project in North West

The Mafikeng housing project is a result of FEDUP’s 2006 pledge agreement with the national department. Within the pledge, the North West provincial department had allocated 1000 housing subsidies to FEDUP of which the movement decided to use 200 in various settlements in Mafikeng. FEDUP entered negotiations with the provincial government, preparing a contract, business plans and geo-technical investigation. At first, the geo-technical report deemed the ground in one of the Mafikeng settlements as too dolomitic for house construction. After FEDUP members engaged in further negotiations construction was approved. Molokoane recounts,

“Although we had challenges with the Department, our partnership is strong, especially with the regional manager who helped us bridge challenges, guiding us and giving us relevant people to correct our mistakes. We are not saying that we are perfect in building houses. But the good thing is that it empowers our communities, gives confidence and grows trust between communities and government”

Mafikeng Network Meeting in March 2015

Mafikeng Network Meeting in March 2015

At the core of the project and the strong partnership with the provincial department are daily savings – a tool that brings communities together, enabling individuals to identify and share challenges as well as find solutions. This was particularly the case in the North West where FEDUP members used their community savings (housed in FEDUP’s Urban Poor Fund), to attract more members, to leverage government support and create a sense of ownership.

“When we talk of a community owning a project we are referring to Mafikeng. Mafikeng members have now formed seven savings groups, and spend their own savings on monthly gatherings: hiring transport, equipment and cooking food.”

(Rose Molokoane, national FEDUP coordinator)

Savings report back to more than 150 savers gathered in Mafikeng.

Savings report back to more than 150 savers gathered in Mafikeng.

Using their own savings, Mafikeng group members prepare a meal for all members at the Network meeting

Using their own savings, Mafikeng group members prepare a meal for all members at the Network meeting










Future Partnership on Upgrading

For Molokoane, the Mafikeng 200 project won the Govan Mbeki Award due the partnerships FEDUP had established with Mafikeng Municipality, the North West and National Department of Human Settlements.

“The partnership between these four stakeholders illustrates that working together, we can do better. The Department realised Mafikeng is a good example of PHP and ePHP because people are doing it for themselves. National government supports this because with some there is still a dependency syndrome that obliges government to provide. Through FEDUP we try and change this mind set: government should do it with us, not for us.”

In looking ahead, Molokoane speaks about the significant alliance between FEDUP and the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) as well as the necessity for all tiers of government to recognise informal settlement upgrading in its own right and as clearly distinct from housing projects.

“People have the right to basic services over and above getting a house. Government needs to recognise the need for security of tenure and basic services for communities in informal settlements. If they give us [the SA SDI Alliance] the space to do this [informal settlement upgrading], people can change their conditions and the face of their communities. We have a long way to go with government, so we need to join hands as poor people. Our vision is basic services, security of tenure, providing an opportunity to build, then people should organise themselves to build their own houses.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 2.35.14 PM

Partnership in Mossel Bay: FEDUP and Provincial Minister launch houses

By FEDUP, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC)

FEDUP savers, Norman Bless, Provincial Minister and Municipal representatives infront of Norman Bles' new house

FEDUP savers, Norman Bless, Provincial Minister and Municipal representatives infront of Norman Bles’ new house

It’s a rainy June afternoon in KwaNonqaba, an area of informal settlements and state-subsidised housing on the outskirts of Mossel Bay. Singing arises from a tent pitched nearby a newly finished house – FEDUP members awaiting the arrival of Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela. Among the group is FEDUP saver, Norman Bles, homeowner of the newly finished house. The day marks the official opening of his house – as well as four additional FEDUP houses. It also marks a breakthrough in the relationship between Mossel Bay municipality and the local groups of FEDUP savers – the beginnings of a partnership after over a decade of negotiations.

FEDUP savers celebrating the house opening and new partnership formation

FEDUP savers celebrating the house opening and new partnership formation

Tracing FEDUP’s history in Mossel Bay

Thozama Nomnga, Western Cape coordinator for FEDUP, recounts how in the early 1990s the movement had built 33 houses in partnership with the municipality. After a period of disengagement, FEDUP returned to Mossel Bay in 2006, re-connected with old savings schemes and the municipality, particularly around the KwaNonqaba housing project, which, at the time, was pegged at 110 houses. Due to changes in leadership and member affiliation to savings schemes, the municipality eventually pledged 35 houses in 2013. On 2 June 2015, the completion of the first 5 houses was officially celebrated along with the formal opening of the new house of Norman Bles.

Tracing the story of FEDUP’s Norman Bles

FEDUP member, Norman Bles, with his family infront of the newly finished house.

FEDUP member, Norman Bles, with his family infront of the newly finished house.


As Norman Bles, reflects on his journey with FEDUP, he explains that he has been waiting for a house since 1993. Originally from Mandela Zone 5, he began saving with (what is now called) FEDUP in 1993. Over the years he left and re-joined the Federation several times – in the early 1990s due to a perceived lack of municipal support for housing and later due to uncertainties in the saving group leadership. During the constant changes in membership and saving participation, Norman speaks about his encounter with a fellow saver, who emphasised the importance of savings. This encouraged him to re-join the movement and eventually form his own savings scheme.

“Because we liked the Federation and understood the rituals of SDI [Shack/Slum Dwellers International], I went back to my house, talked to the people and said, ‘Let’s open a savings group in my house.” Other people joined us and we have been saving until now”

(Norman Bles, FEDUP homeowner, Mossel Bay)

He explains how together with FEDUP he continued negotiating with the municipality for housing.

“We kept negotiating because I wanted a bigger house [than] the small houses the municipality was building. The promise that we would get bigger houses with uTshani Fund [FEDUP] is what gave me hope to continue saving. I have a wife and kids who now have a place to sleep. It is no longer in a small shack. Today there is no rain that will get my children.”

(Norman Bles, FEDUP homeowner)

Launching a house, building a partnership


At the launch itself, Western Cape FEDUP leader, Thozama Nomnga, described the day as “the start of a partnership with Mossel Bay municipality.” Both the minister and Mossel Bay Head of Department (HoD) for Human Settlements echoed this sentiment. In particular, the minister emphasised that the government needed to acknowledge its setbacks and work harder at making [housing opportunities] happen:

“What you are doing [as an Alliance] is directly in line with our strategic objectives in the Western Cape. You have proven that you have the capacity to do this thing [build your own houses]! Why can’t we use the Alliance to do these things in a number of settlements so we can really become partners. It might only be 5 houses but there are more coming. We want to change the landscape.”

(Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements)

Thozama Nomnga, Western Cape FEDUP coordinator

Thozama Nomnga, Western Cape FEDUP coordinator


Johan van Zyl, Mossel Bay HoD, speaks of the municipality’s mindset shift that enabled a more people-centred approach. While previous municipal programs and approaches were characterised by little coordination and cooperation between the municipality and communities, a meeting initiated by the provincial minister introduced an alternative view of community engagement. Coupled with a successful Govan Mbeki Award, a national reorientation toward more community support and continuous negotiation, the municipal mindset in Mossel Bay began to change:

“[We] have to have partnerships. Municipalities and government can’t do anything on their own….That is why the minister [indicated] that these initiatives will be supported by government to create more housing opportunities”

What underpins a partnership?

KZN FEDUP Coordinator, MaMKhabela

KZN FEDUP Coordinator, MaMKhabela


While FEDUP celebrated the completion of 5 houses, the road ahead is a long one. After over a decade of negotiations with Mossel Bay municipality and repeated submissions of project plans, the municipality seems receptive to a community-centred approach and to the People’s Housing Process (PHP). For Thozama, this certainly indicates the potential for partnership. Yet in order to build a strong partnership, the challenges need to be addressed – particularly in terms of delays in implementation. What underpins a people-centred partnership then?

“As FEDUP are are not saying people must grab land. People need to negotiate with government. We respect the government and our councillors. But the government also needs to respect us as communities. Because if we are not there, there will be no government”.

(KZN FEDUP leader, MamKhabela, at the Mossel Bay launch)

‘An eye for an eye makes the world blind’ – FEDUP/ ISN say NO to Xenophobia

By CORC, FEDUP, ISN, News, uTshani Fund No Comments

Authored by SA SDI Alliance

Following the outbreak of xenophobic violence in Gauteng in April 2015, the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) and the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) – both members of the SA SDI Alliance – hosted a dialogue on 24 – 25 April 2015 to say NO to Xenophobia.

“When Xenophobia broke out the Catholic Church approached ISN & FEDUP for support because people were fleeing their homes. We decided on a dialogue because we realised that there was a problem on the ground.“

(Sipho Vanga, ISN Coordinator in Gauteng)

ISN facilitators in Holomisa settlement, Gauteng (2014). Sipho Vanga (third from left)

ISN facilitators in Holomisa settlement, Gauteng (2014). Sipho Vanga (third from left)

The dialogue was titled, ‘Is it really xenophobia or violent protest?’ It brought together 32 informal settlement leaders from Johannesburg (COJ) and Ekurhuleni Municipalities (EMM) in Gauteng Province. Represented settlements included Sicelo, Slovo Park, Delport, Marathon, Makause, Ramaphosa, Holomisa (COJ), Holomisa (EMM), Mandela, Kanana Park, Meriting, Denver, Zacharia Park, Siphamandla, Tinasonke and Thembakhoza. In a press release statement, FEDUP & ISN explained,

“In order to try and avoid violent protest and xenophobic acts we will host a series of dialogues with the leadership of informal settlements AND those affected by xenophobia to discuss social ills with the aim to facilitate the integration of affected people back into our communities.

(ISN/FEDUP Press Release)

The program spread over two days and sought to find a common understanding of xenophobia and its causes in South Africa and to propose possible solutions to stop violence and discrimination. Topics of discussion included:

  • Xenophobia
  • Unemployment
  • Social Stereo Typing
  • Crime
  • Gender
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Upgrading
  • Land Tenure
  • Youth
  • Poverty

Day 1: Dialogue on Xenophobia’s Causes and Challenges

The first day engaged Gauteng’s informal settlement leaders who gave voice to their communities’ grievances, perceptions and concerns. Leaders shared first-hand experience of xenophobic violence, their respective perceptions of root causes and avenues of response.


As community leaders spoke about experiences and community perceptions in their settlements they highlighted some perceived frustrations relating to:

  • Crime

“Illegal immigrants commit crimes and cannot be identified because their finger prints are not in the system”

  • Lack of employment

“Capitalists employ foreigners over locals because foreigners are willing to work harder and earn below the minimum wage.”

“Foreigners operate … businesses without licences because they can afford to bribe… authorities that approach them.”

“South Africans cannot compete with foreigners who are in a position of purchasing bulk commodities that automatically reduce purchase prices.”

  • Drugs & Poverty

“Foreigner mostly bring in and deal drugs that make a huge contribution to the poverty cycle.”

  • Low service provision and development

“The government uses foreigners as an excuse to not develop a number of areas. Yet when foreigners are displaced from communities, it is the government that advocates for their re-integration.”

Dialogue participants explained that jealousy drives locals as they perceive themselves as unable to compete with skills, knowledge and experience brought into the country by foreigners. For leaders this easy influx was connected to poorly protected borders. As “government only listens when communities take extreme measures” leaders explained that xenophobia was a new discovery by South Africans to ensure that their voices are heard and to catalyse service delivery. Some leaders criticised government for using informal settlements as “refugee camps”. They attributed the lack of service delivery to government’s reluctance to undertake upgrading in settlements that are home to foreign nationals.

“It is crystal clear that informal settlement residents are ignored and side-lined by government at all levels. Government has failed us completely in all areas of service delivery. Yet, we are always trying our level best, no matter what, to meet, plan and partner with government AND we will never stop trying!”

(FEDUP-ISN Press Release)

As the discussion unfolded, leaders analysed the matter in terms of their own context and role within it, recognising that “maintaining peace should start with leaders themselves”. They acknowledged that foreigners did not invade their communities but mostly settled through negotiation with respective community leaders while others rented from South Africans. Despite initially expressed frustration, participants concluded that “an eye for an eye only makes the world blind” and adopted a stance of saying “NO TO XENOPHOBIA”.

Day 2: Supporting the Displaced

Day two’s discussions included members of the police, business forums, perpetrators and affected people. Those affected explained that they had come to South Africa to improve their lives and not to sell drugs. Participants agreed that community members would help each other to communicate openly about illegal activity.


Leaders furthermore agreed that no further violence should be experienced. They recommended that illegal immigrants try return to their home countries and apply for relevant travel documents. A further recommendation related to the need for consultative public engagements (between communities and relevant government officials) on integration plans for legal immigrants.

Dialogue participants had previously expressed a growing concern with government’s limited interest in engaging relevant community structures to identify the root causes of xenophobic violence in order to find ways of ameliorating it through community-led processes. Leaders decided that going forward, ISN & FEDUP should facilitate engagements with local authorities and jointly advocate for peace and integration in communities. Community leaders would draft a Memorandum detailing the grievances.

“We are apologetic for what happened in the country. That is why we held dialogues. ISN and FEDUP play an important role: we are not going to sit and watch xenophobia happen. Some foreigners – like our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe – belong to SDI [Shack Dwellers International), just like us. The solution is to create space for leaders to engage in dialogue. ISN&FEDUP should pressure government to deliver and CORC should be the middle man between us.”

(Sipho Vanga, ISN Co-ordinator Gauteng)

Outlook: Negotiation not Violence

For ISN National Co-ordinator, Mzwanele Zulu,

“The root cause of xenophobia is apartheid. It is something we can’t run away from – discrimination and apartheid realities are still present: people live in conditions where there is no transformation. There has been human rights transformation and perhaps some psychological transformation but no change in living conditions. Political, social and economic issues – especially the high unemployment rate – affect people and cause high levels of frustration.”

Mzwanele Zulu, National ISN Coordinator

Mzwanele Zulu, National ISN Coordinator

When cities act as engines of economic growth based on neo-liberal policies and programs they result in more inequality and poverty. Access to serviced, well-located land becomes increasingly difficult, as urban land markets are exclusionary by nature. More people are forced to access land informally and experience diminished opportunities to access employment, health, education, basic services and housing. In addition people experience diminished levels of political and administrative accountability. It is in this particular political and economic context in which informal settlement communities are trying to make sense of the chaos, their inequality and poverty.

“To address issues relating to informal settlement upgrading, urban poverty and development, the state needs CBOs, social movements and NGOs to work with. The same applies to xenophobia. We need drastic contributions from the state in terms of human and financial support. But the state’s response needs to be exercised through partnership with local channels.”

(Mzwanele Zulu, ISN National Co-ordinator)

Spotlight on Mpumalanga: “Through FEDUP we support each other”

By FEDUP, uTshani Fund One Comment

By Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC)

“At Ellerines in Standerton, we need to collect Dolly, then its not far: continue straight over the crossing and turn left to get to Extension 6. We want to share what we are doing in our savings scheme. Some of us have houses, and some of us are starting small businesses”

(Togo Simelane, FEDUP member, Mpumalanga)


Emelina Hlabati and Beauty Nkosi, long standing members of FEDUP’s Masakane savings scheme in Standerton

As Mama Dolly Moleme and Togo Simelane arrive at their home in Extension 6 in Standerton, they lead the way to Gogo Emelina Hlabati’s home. Together with Beauty Nkosi, the three ladies make up the steering committee of FEDUP’s PHP housing projects in Standerton. Apart from acting as FEDUP’s regional financial signatories, the group is involved in negotiating with the municipality and provincial government for direct access to housing subsidies through the People’s Housing Process (PHP). Read more about FEDUP’s engagement with PHP here.

Togo Simelane (front), Beauty Nkosi (left), Emelina Hlabati (right), Dolly Moleme (back)

Togo Simelane (front), Beauty Nkosi (left), Emelina Hlabati (right), Dolly Moleme (back)

Building first houses in Extension 6

FEDUP has been active in Extension 6 since 2001, with five savings schemes (Masakane, Lethukhanya, Vukuzenzele, Masihambisane and one income generation / loan group).

Dolly explains,

“We started building all the FEDUP houses in Extension 6 in 2005. uTshani Fund supported us with pre-financing the houses. We managed the construction of the houses through our Community Construction Management Teams (CCMTs). Houses should take one week to build but we waited for one month for the materials to deliver. The role of the government is to provide an inspector to check that the houses we build meet the appropriate standards.”

Beauty Nkosi infront of her Federation house

Beauty Nkosi infront of her Federation house

FEDUP self-financed its first three houses as “show houses” to negotiate for direct access to subsidy funds in 2001 and 2002. This enabled members to build houses with bigger dimensions than RDP houses. For the group of ladies it was clear,

“We’re not looking for municipality houses – we want Federation houses because they are much bigger and more beautiful”

Between 2005 and 2006 FEDUP has built 36 houses. Other members in the community are approved to receive a subsidy but Dolly explains that there has been little movement from the municipality. The group therefore contacts the municipality on a weekly basis to find out about proposed plans for the next subsidy houses. The likelihood of receiving subsidies in the near future, however, is small. This reflects the inability of South Africa’s provincial Departments of Human Settlements to adequately meet the country’s housing backlog. The backlog in Mpumalanga alone is close to 200 000.


Beauty Nkosi with human settlements accredited photograph with Emelina Hlabati and Nomvula Mahlangu

FEDUP houses in Extension 6

FEDUP houses


Building Savings, Building Support

Through daily savings, however, FEDUP, has nurtured strong savings schemes and spaces in which members can support each other, regardless of the extent of municipal commitment and support.

Dolly explains,

“The Federation helped Gogo Emelina to such an extent that when she was born she was living in a shack. She started daily savings and luckily with the support of the Federation she was able to bury her husband in a dignified manner. When her husband passed away, the house was completed. Today she has a house and a chicken business. Otherwise she would be out in the open”

Dolly, Emelina and Beauty speak about their savings scheme:

“We are all part of Masakane savings scheme. Now we are about 30 members. Many of us received houses. Together we have a chicken project. We buy small chickens, we grow them and then we sell them when they have grown big. When we heard about the FEDUP loan group we decided to sell chickens because many people like to eat chickens.”

Read about FEDUP’s Income Generation Programme here.

Dolly Moleme and Emelina Hlabatis Chicken business

Dolly Moleme and Emelina Hlabatis Chicken business

Masakane savings scheme is also involved in other forms of saving such as saving towards groceries for the year-end. At the end of the year 60 members use the savings to buy a big load of groceries and one sheep each.

“Many people who live here live in shacks often don’t want to save. But when they see us building our houses they come running to us and ask how they can do this too. I like the Federation a lot! Even though I already have a house I would never dream of leaving the Federation. Many people are struggling. Through FEDUP we support each other even if the municipality doesn’t seem to want to help us”

(Dolly Moleme, FEDUP member, Standerton)

Togo Simelane in FEDUP office in Extension 6

Togo Simelane in FEDUP office in Extension 6

Stories from FEDUP’s Income Generation Programme (FIGP)

By FEDUP, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC)


Elisa Ramboda

Venda Beadwork in Limpopo

My name is Elisa Ramboda. I’ve lived here in Ramahantsha* my whole life, more than 70 years. I’m the first member of Pfano, my savings scheme, and I was the first to join when the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) was launched in Limpopo because I heard about savings. When the FEDUP income generation project started I took my first loan of R 1000 – to buy beads in town and sell Venda beadwork here at my house and at paying points where people get their grants. Even when there is a wedding, people come and place orders with me to make them traditional decorations.

I sell headbands for R150, armbands for R90, belts are R150 and necklaces cost R40. I make good profits and I have already taken and repaid three loans! This helps me to pay my grandchildren’s school fees. I also support my daughter-in-law and my son.”

This blog traces the stories of FEDUP members in four South African regions who use the Federation Income Generation Programme (FIGP) to start businesses, support family members, and secure their livelihoods.

(*near Makhado / Louis Trichardt in Limpopo)

FEDUP is built on daily savings

As a network of saving schemes, FEDUP’s core practice centres on daily savings collections that establish a space for individuals to share daily struggles and for savings group to identify solutions. Most often members’ needs pertain to accessing well-located land, security of tenure, improved shelter, housing and basic services. Through daily collections and other community organisation tools FEDUP has built partnerships with government on all tiers, negotiating access to many of these needs.


FIGP draws on FEDUPS’s Urban Poor Fund

Amidst successful negotiations, the lack of income generation continued to cause instability and hardship. FEDUP therefore launched the FIGP in 2014 to assist members in starting small businesses, enabling the movement to generate its own income through reinforcing the significance of daily savings itself. FEDUP (via uTshani Fund) registered with the relevant financial bodies and started up a legal and formalised microfinance institution through which members can access group loans from their own Urban Poor Fund instead of external financial institutions.

Taking loans to start a business

The criteria for accessing a FIGP loan are:

  • Formal FEDUP membership (complete once-off UPF payment of R750)
  • Active member of a FEDUP savings scheme
  • Experience as small business entrepreneur for at least 6 months
  • Be part of a group of 5 to access a loan

These criteria ensure that members continue saving and supporting one another in the development of their respective businesses because individuals can only receive loans when they are in a group of five. The whole group must also make repayments as one overall sum. Therefore individual success depends on group success. 

Sophie’s Tuckshop in Bethal, Mpumalanga

Sophie Mofokeng's tuckshop

Sophie Mofokeng’s tuckshop

As Sophie Mofokeng attends to a customer in her well-stocked tuck shop, in the front section of her house, she says that she has been a FEDUP member since 2013.

“I started my shop in 2009. But after a while I got stuck because I did not make enough profits because I did not increase my prices enough from the wholesaler prices. But now I am good at it. FEDUP has helped me a lot, especially through savings and the FIGP loan, which supports me with my shop. I have taken and repaid three loans so far: R500, R1600 and R1000. They have helped me because I don’t have to pay high interest. I have many customers especially on weekends and month end. I count my profits every day when I close and put them in my account.

Saving is good for me because I can’t always draw the money when I want it. It helps me to support my children after school, maybe through varsity (university). I want to grow the shop and buy a chips machine and a double fridge so I can stock more colddrinks.”

In Standerton (Mpumalanga), Dolly Moleme, Emelina Hlabati and Beauty Nkosi (both over 70), speak about the poultry project they started through FIGP.

“The Gogos and I are members of Masakane savings scheme. We used to be many members – now we are about 30 people. Many of us received houses but we wanted to do more to support ourselves. The Gogos and I started a chicken income generation project because many people like to eat chickens: we buy small chickens , grow them and then we sell them.”

(Dolly Moleme, FEDUP member, Mpumalanga).

Dolly has also used FIGP to make her own Achar (condiment) and sell at a public vending area in Standerton’s town centre. Other FEDUP members in Bethal have set up their FIGP businesses, selling uniforms, clothing and household items in public areas where people gather to collect their monthly grants.

FEDUP seamstresses in North West Province and Gauteng

In Legonyane (North West) and Orange Farm (Gauteng) FEDUP savings scheme members are making use of FIGP loans to expand their sewing businesses. Both members are experienced seamstresses and use the loans to buy material to make graduation gowns and shwe-shwe dresses.

In reflecting on the impact of the loan system within the FIGP, Rose Molokoane, FEDUP National Co-ordinator said,

“As FEDUP, we initially got together in saving schemes so we could save towards houses.  Some people began dropping out when they didn’t see houses. But our work is not about houses only – it’s about the future. We are building a future, not a house. We are building a home, not a house. In a home there are many needs. We are using this loan programme (based on our savings) to do something about them.”

Minister Sisulu appoints Rose Molokoane to Council of Social Housing Regulatory Authority

By CORC, FEDUP, News, SDI, uTshani Fund No Comments

The South African SDI Alliance, together with SDI, is excited to announce that last week national minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu appointed Rose Molokoane to the Council of the South African Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA). Molokoane is founding member and national co-ordinator of the SA Alliance, the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) and Deputy President of SDI.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu (left), with Jockin Arputham (SDI president), Zoe Kota-Fredericks (Deputy MInister) and Rose Molokoane (right) at National Human Settlements Indaba 2014

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu (left), with Jockin Arputham (SDI president), Zoe Kota-Fredericks (Deputy MInister) and Rose Molokoane (right) at National Human Settlements Indaba 2014

Rose Molokoane

Rose Molokoane

In her appointment letter Minister Sisulu writes,

“Your appointment to the Council of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority is in recognition of your unique set of skills and expertise, and I am confident that your contribution will be meaningful.”

The SHRA works together with the Department of Human Settlements at all tiers, the National Housing Finance Corporation and international actors to develop the social rental housing sector for the delivery of rental housing accommodation to low and middle income earners.

The SHRA’s vision is to regulate and invest in the development of affordable rental homes in integrated urban environments through sustainable institutions. Some of the functions of the SHRA include:

  • Promote the development and awareness of social housing by providing an enabling environment for the growth and development of the social housing sector.
  • Provide advice and support to the Department of Human Settlements in its development of policy for the social housing sector and facilitate national social housing programmes
  • Provide best practice information and research on the status of the social housing sector
  • Support provincial governments with the approval of project applications by social housing institutions
  • Provide assistance, when requested, with the process of the designation of restructuring zones
  • Enter into agreements with provincial governments and the National Housing Finance Corporation to ensure the co-ordinated exercise of powers
Rose Molokoane facilitates daily savings workshop for FEDUP treasurers and collectors in Limpopo

Rose Molokoane facilitates daily savings workshop for FEDUP treasurers and collectors in Limpopo

Molokoane is a resident of Oukasie township near Brits in North West Province, and a member of Oukasie savings scheme. A veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, she is one of the most internationally recognised grassroots activists involved in land tenure and housing issues. FEDUP has supported more than 150,000 shack dwellers, the vast majority of whom are women, to pool their savings. This has won them sufficient standing to negotiate with government for a progressive housing policy (People’s Housing Process) that has produced over 15,000 new homes and secured more than 1,000 hectares of government land for development.

Molokoane has initiated federations of savings schemes throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She was awarded the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor in 2005 for her struggle to bring land and homes to the poor.

Rose Molokoane with members fellow members of SDI board and council from Uganda and Tanzania.

Rose Molokoane with fellow members of SDI board and council from Uganda and Tanzania.

Rose Molokoane with FEDUP Western Cape members

Rose Molokoane with FEDUP Western Cape members