land tenure Archives - SASDI Alliance

Why we save: A photo story by FEDUP Mpumalanga

By FEDUP, Savings One Comment

By Ntombikayise Promise and Emgard Msibi (on behalf of FEDUP)

This photo story (text and images) was compiled by members of a FEDUP savings scheme in Mpumalanga with the purpose of introducing how urban poor women organise themselves through savings activities. 

It all starts with our ambitious citizens uniting to form one strategic society.

FEDUP members gather for a savings meeting in Kwa-Ndebele.

FEDUP members gather for a savings meeting in Kwa-Ndebele, Mpumalanga

When we stand together, we shall conquer. We create sustainable development through people-led development. Knowledge is power! We are one!

More impressions of KwaNdebele savings meeting

More impressions of KwaNdebele savings meeting

Securing our beautiful land for the poor. Umhlaba Wethu, Izwe Lethu. Our Land, Our Country. These women together with Walter Monyela [from CORC] gathered to ask the Chief of Kwa-Ndebele permission to buy the land of KwaMhlanga-Mountain View where they aim to build one hundred houses for the poor.

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As long as we are in motion, we will get there. Our vision is SMARTSustainable, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound.


Mama Madonsela speaks about being a FEDUP members in Leandra, Mpumalanga:

“It is a good experience to work with the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) because it has brought us dignity and happiness. We were able to get together as a unique group to gather information and then explore our talents. Hence we showcase our skills through the great work of art”

The vision of these FEDUP members is to develop their own initiatives by using their skills and drawing on the support of FEDUP. Not only do these members have skills for art but they also have their own garden where they plant mushrooms and strawberries. They are still in search of a market to sell these.

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Saving for the near future 

Initially the community of FEDUP did not see the value of saving, up until it was introduced to FEDUP. FEDUP in Bethal continued to grow from a small number of collectives. These women gather every Sunday afternoon to save money. Saving money makes them happy and wise enough to make good financial decisions with their lives.

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The coordinators in our savings groups play different roles. In the picture below our loan facilitator is Sbongile, our treasurer is Neliswe, Thembi organises transportation, Mainah is our secretary and Nomvula Nkosi is our programme director.


Our savings groups in Bethal, Mpumalanga:

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Installing Water Taps in Holomisa Gauteng

By CORC, ISN, News, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Blanca Calvo (on behalf of CORC and uTshani)

Holomisa is an informal settlement located in Katlehong (Ekurhuleni, Gauteng). In May 2014, Pumelele Ntanjana, one of the leaders of Holomisa Informal Settlement, contacted the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) to request support for a possible re-location of a portion of his settlement. Today, Holomisa has been profiled and enumerated, new taps have been installed and it has become a learning centre for other ISN communities in Gauteng.

ISN Gauteng co-ordinators with Holomisa residents

ISN Gauteng co-ordinators with Holomisa residents

The Holomisa story tracks back to an ISN leadership meeting that took place in Germiston (Ekurhuleni, Gauteng) in 2008. In that meeting, leaders from all informal settlements in the area had been invited to attend, Holomisa amongst them.

When Holomisa leadership were told by their councillor that a portion of the settlement needed to be re-located because of the enlargement of a neighbouring school, they approached ISN for support. ISN was invited to visit the settlement, where they firstly met with Holomisa leadership and the ward committee members.

The community and ISN profiled the settlement in May 2014 and identified a need for more sources of water (only 2 functioning taps for about 500 households). This was confirmed in a public meeting, where residents requested support for an immediate improvement of their daily lives through implementing more taps, improving sanitation conditions and electrifying the settlement. The settlement’s improved service delivery would also be an additional step to ensuring land tenure.

Existing Water Taps in Holomisa

Existing Water Taps in Holomisa

Three parallel processes started from there. On one side, enumerations started on the ground, identifying 446 households. Since Holomisa had been identified as a learning centre for the region, leaders from 6 neighbouring informal settlements (Emalahleni, Thintwa, Vlakplaas, Mandela, Makalakaleni and Zola) were invited to join the enumeration process, ending up with capacitated leaders to undertake the process in their own settlements. A total of 10 local and 6 external leaders were capacitated. Besides, the figures highlighted again the need for more taps, with a backlog of 8 taps to meet official standards


Holomisa Textbox1

The mobilisation team engaged with the Ward Councillor, who was informed in a partnership meeting of the intention to install more taps in Holomisa with the support of the South African SDI Alliance. The ISN sent a letter to the ward councillor saying,

“We understand that we are poor humble people struggling to make our way in life. Like every South African citizen, what we expect is a fair and reasonable service delivery from Government in return for the taxes we pay”

Finally, the savings team organised community savings to save 10% of the budget for the project. The outstanding 90% of the budget was financed by the Community Upgrading Finance Facility (CUFF) housed in uTshani Fund.

Mandela Day (18 July 2014) was finally the day for the project to start. In the space of 6 days, one tap was fixed and three more taps were installed. 25 local residents volunteered for the project, a technical team of 10 ISN members was on site and 6 leaders from neighbouring informal settlements were invited to participate and learn in the process, thus increasing their skills and building capacity.

New Water Taps in Holomisa

New Water Taps in Holomisa

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The project was a success for the communities involved, not only because the installation of more taps improved the living conditions of Holomisa residents, but also because some valuable lessons were learnt.

  • Firstly, the will of the people has been proved to be the best tool to work with. The residents identified the need for more taps and lead the project from the first day.
  • Secondly, the power of residents taking ownership of the project. Residents did not wait for external people and institutions for their permissions or to come to the work, they pushed for their needs to be heard and did it themselves.
  • Finally, the learning centre has proved to be a success. 6 leaders from other informal settlements were capacitated using almost the same amount of resources.

However Holomisa’s story does not end here and the process is still on-going. Holomisa residents, are in discussion with their Ward Councillor for the re-location process of a section of the settlement. Continuous engagement with the ISN will ensure that the re-located residents will be allocated a new portion of land, which it is still to be identified.