North West Province Archives - SASDI Alliance

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.”

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FEDUP’s Gogo Mohale saved up for “the house of her dreams”

By FEDUP, uTshani Fund No Comments

By Patrick Matsemela (on behalf of FEDUP)

2013 was a special year for Gogo Mmapule Mohale.  After she saved for 14 years, we began building her house in Maboloka in North West Province. She started saving with the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP)  in 1999. FEDUP is a women-led social movement that empowers communities to start community saving schemes. It is also one of two social movements that forms the South African Shack Dwellers Alliance. At meetings Gogo Mmapule Mohale would always tell other members,

“I am not in a hurry. I know that I will have the house of my dreams. What needs to happen is that we must negotiate with government for more support”

Now, Gogo Mohale is 87 years old and received her house.


Gogo Mohale in front of her old house




Gogo Mohale’s new house









FEDUP – North West Network

In the North West, the FEDUP network is formed by four to six savings groups. We have six local facilitators and one regional facilitator. Federation network members meet once a month, where they bring different reports from different savings groups. They also share information on their different groups and compile a report for the regional meeting. The report also requests support on issues raised in network meetings.

Through FEDUP saving schemes, communities can develop their own knowledge and capacities, build houses and acquire land. In South Africa FEDUP has about 1500 savings and credit groups which range from a minimum of 15 to a maximum 500 members. If communities save small amounts of money, collect information and use this to negotiate with government they have a better chance of securing entitlements, strengthening themselves and leading their own development plans. FEDUP has used its collective power to lobby government and access the housing subsidy programme. In this way it strongly influenced the governments’s low-income housing policy, the People’s Housing Process (PHP) and later, the enhanced People’s Housing Process (ePHP). uTshani Fund is FEDUPs own housing finance facility and account administrator.

A FEDUP member calculates our her savings at our network meeting in Mafikeng (North West Province)


The North West / FEDUP Pledge

Gogo’s house was one of 200 hundred houses that were pledged to be built in Maboloka. The Maboloka project was part of several housing projects in Mafikeng Municipality in North West Province which was part of a national housing pledge signed in 2006 between uTshani Fund and the National Department of Housing and then minister, Lindiwe Sisulu. The pledge was for 1000 subsidies with which to build houses throughout South Africa. The other projects in North West Province were in Lethabong, Jericho&Legonyane, Oukasie Lethabile, Mafikeng and Madinyane.

Lethabong, for example, would receive 96 subsidy houses. As FEDUP we managed to build 89 houses. For this we won the runner up to the North West award for best enhanced People’s Housing Process (ePHP).  For us as FEDUP the PHP needs to be focused on the community. The most important thing about this project was that it was led by the community. We want them to lead the construction, administration and project management. This happens through the Community Construction Management Team (CCMT) which is formed by community members who hold the positions of project manager, procurement officer, bookkeeper, administrator and community liaison officer.  The houses that FEDUP members receive are bigger (54m²) than RDP houses (36m² or 40m²).

We are happy that after so many years of saving together, Gogo Mohale now has her own house. For other FEDUP savings groups to achieve what Gogo Mohale did, we still need more support from government.



The CCMT team manages construction