You are here

Habitat for Humanity South Africa

Habitat's work in South Africa

Number of families served this year: 

Country Profile

The housing need in South Africa
Boasting abundant natural resources and excellent infrastructure, South Africa bears all the hallmarks of a highly developed country. However, considerable economic and social problems remain from the apartheid era and unemployment figures are high.

Extreme poverty in rural areas drives people to the cities in search of employment. Fifty seven percent of the population now lives in overcrowded urban areas and one third lives on less than US$2 a day.

Despite proactive government policies, almost 10 million South Africans live in poverty housing in vast informal settlements known as townships. Occupants of townships often live without adequate services in overcrowded shacks pieced together with cardboard, corrugated iron and scrap wood.


 Nomhlengethi Mapotolo and his family worked with Habitat South Africa in the community of Mfuleni. They now have a clean safe place to live and their own latrine.


 A major part of Habitat South Africa’s work is in Builds. Here two girls from Springfield Girls School help to build 10 houses in Mfuleni.

Habitat for Humanity in South Africa
Since its formation, Habitat for Humanity South Africa has provided shelter for 11,000 people and brought volunteers together across racial, economic, cultural and social divides. Today, the traditional Habitat program has evolved into more than building homes. Each project is uniquely tailored to suit the needs of the homeowner, the environment and social conditions of the communities and the available funds
Eighteen percent of South Africa’s population is infected with HIV/AIDS. Habitat South Africa aims to build 60 new homes for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children, many of whom are living in appalling conditions.

HFHSA also focuses on Builds - be it Youth Builds, corporate volunteers, or even Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. Building together helps to reconcile what has in the past been a divided nation.

Download Building Connections (470kb .pdf) and learn how you can get involved with Habitat’s Global Village volunteer program to South Africa.


Country facts

Capital : Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein

Population : 49,320,000

HIV prevalence : 18.1 percent

AIDS orphans : 

Rate of urbanization : 
61 percent


Habitat facts

When the program started: 1987, but had to put building on hold until apartheid ended in 1994

Video : HFH South Africa on YouTube

Facebook : 
Habitat for Humanity South Africa

Housing Solutions: New houses, Urban Renewal, Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)