2006 Winner
Limpopo Province, South Africa
Impumelelo Innovation Award Trus
Impumelelo Innovation Award Trust
South Africa

Description: This project was started in November 2005 (only 6-7 months), and funded by the Provincial Department of Local Government and Housing. The project was given R2 886 500 for the construction of 115 houses in the Tzaneen area. One of the main aims was to involve the community in the construction of the houses, and to ensure that the bulk of the money remained in the community. Thus, each person who was to receive a house was also involved in the construction of these houses, and received pay from the project funds. The Department of Labour contributed R527 520 for bricklaying courses for the 115 people. A company was commissioned to make the bricks, but the owner was required to employ local people. The window frames for the houses are also manufactured on-site by local people. Sand for construction is also delivered by locals on donkey carts. 75% of the project money goes to the local community.

Innovation: Not much innovation, apart from enforcing that outside companies hire locals for the project.

Effectiveness: 102 houses have been completed to date, and the foundations are in place for the last 13. 115 people have also gained new skills in construction, and this could lead to future employment.

Poverty Impact: Created employment for 34 bricklayers (30 were locals); and 87 labourers (53 are women). 119 people have been directly employed; and another 50 have been indirectly employed (in making bricks, window frames, or in the transport of materials.)

Sustainability: At the moment, it seems that this project will be a once-off initiative. There is mention of plans for it to be repeated in other areas, but this is yet to finalised. The funding from the Department of Housing will remain the greatest issue for sustainability.

Replication: The project could be replicated, and these sorts of projects have been conducted in other areas. The main issue would be the funding.