South Africa

Office 201 Pine Park
1 Logan Way
Pinelands, Cape Town
South Africa

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Country Facts:

  • Capital: Pretoria
  • Population: 55.91 million
  • Urbanization: 65.8% live in cities
  • Life expectancy: 63.8 years
  • Unemployment rate: 50.1%
  • Population living below poverty line: 16.6%

Find more country facts on: CIA The World Factbook – South Africa


Habitat Facts

  • Date when Habitat started working in the country: 1996
  • Individuals served in FY18: 695
  • Volunteers hosted in FY18: 6,589
  • Housing solutions: New homes, rehabs, incremental, repairs


Habitat for Humanity in South Africa

Founded in 1996, Habitat for Humanity South Africa NCP is dedicated to the long-term development and sustainability of South Africa’s low- income housing sector and is focused on building thriving communities. With the support of active citizens and stakeholder partners, communities are strengthened through enhanced leadership capacity, skills development training and fostering self-belief to take the lead in their own sustainable development. As an affiliate organization, Habitat South Africa obtains advice, services and funding from Habitat for Humanity International. We are committed to bringing people together to help build decent shelter with low-income families and improve their livelihoods.


The housing need in South Africa

Currently, South Africa is one of the world’s most unequal societies with approximately 12 million South Africans living in extremely poor conditions. The current housing backlog is in excess of 2 million units despite the delivery of over 4 million housing units and opportunities through various government subsidy programs since 1994. High rates of urbanization, population growth, financial constraints and rising development costs have made it impossible to keep pace with the demand for housing. There is an urgent need to address inadequate shelter and livelihood strategies in an innovative and sustainable manner.


Habitat’s contribution in South Africa

While building a strong and stable home addresses the immediate need for decent shelter, Habitat South Africa believes it should not be built in isolation from employment, public transportation, social services and a supportive environment. In response to these challenges, Habitat South Africa has expanded its core focus from helping build individual houses to helping build entire involved communities. Our strategic vision takes on a holistic community-centered and shelter-aligned development approach in which the community remains the primary driver of its development process. This approach involves creating synergy through a People- Public-Private-Partnership, or P4, model in order to realize our mission. Each of the four P’s play a significant role in achieving sustainable and holistic results.


Our programs

The P4 model
In developing whole communities, we focus on:

  • People – Our community partners are at the core of the P4 approach. Through a process of intensive dialogue and engagement we co-produce action plans and development interventions which speak directly to community-identified priorities to ensure sustainability, impact and transformation.
  • Public – Habitat South Africa is committed to collaborate with government at all spheres. Grassroots interventions inform our advocacy work through evidence and experience, and our advocacy positions are guided by our community-based practice. Leveraging on this symbiotic relationship, we inform and influence government policies and systems to facilitate access to adequate shelter.
  • Private – Habitat builds bridges between communities that have identified their resource gaps and private sector stakeholders who want to be part of their development solution. We furthermore provide individual citizens with the opportunity to be part of a co-created solution through active citizenry opportunities.
  • Partnerships – Acknowledging that the solution to the enormous challenge of inclusive urban development does not lie with a single actor alone, we are committed to creating a platform where the collective resources, capabilities, knowledge and skills of an array of partners can be harnessed and directed.


Meet a Habitat family

Thanks to a generous donation by a key International funder, Habitat South Africa has been involved in the community of Pelican Park, in the Western Cape since 2013. During this time, we have worked closely with the community leadership and several external role players in line national housing subsidy program called the Integrated Residential Development Program, or IRDP.

Pelican Park is home to 11,381 individuals and is also the first and largest IRDP in the Western Cape. Habitat South Africa was responsible for facilitating a social engagement program in conjunction with the construction process. As part of the social facilitation program, we leveraged efforts from international and local volunteers to support the project’s construction phase. Community development activities in partnership with the community commenced after the construction phase and included tailored capacity-building workshops for homeowners, local community leadership and the wider community.

Since the completion of 2,000 houses in 2016, Habitat SA has still been active in the community by building strong community leadership platforms and facilitating opportunities for growth and economic development for the households in Pelican Park. These efforts were framed by the concept of access to adequate housing as a catalyst for sustainable development.


What you can do

You can help South African families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:

Donate: Go to and designate your gift to Habitat South Africa.

Volunteer: Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to South Africa or lead your own. Contact us to learn more:

Tithe: All affiliate tithe gifts are sent internationally to serve families outside of the United States. To support the work of Habitat SOUTH AFRICA, please send your tithe to: Habitat for Humanity International P.O. Box 6598 Americus, GA 31709-3498.



To learn more about Habitat projects in South Africa or in other parts of the region, please contact us:


Patrick Kulati, National Director 

Colleen Hughes, Program Development Manager