South Africa

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

WebsiteA wireframe globe


Country Facts:


  • Capital cities Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria
  • Population  over 59 million
  • Life expectancy – 62 years
  • Unemployment rate – 29.8%
  • Below poverty line  20.5%

* International poverty line of US$2.15 (World Bank, 2022)

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


Habitat Facts

  • Habitat started in South Africa in 1987.
  • Individuals served in FY2022 – 15,430
  • Through new construction – 900
  • Through incremental construction – 14,530
  • Volunteers engaged in FY2022  83


The housing need in South Africa

Currently, South Africa is one of the world’s most unequal societies with approximately 12 million people living in extreme poverty.
The current housing backlog is in excess of 2.6 million units, despite the delivery of more than 3 million housing units and opportunities through various government subsidy programs since democracy was established in 1994.
High rates of urbanization, a growing population, financial constraints and rising development costs have made it impossible to keep pace with the country’s demand for housing.

How Habitat addresses the need


Habitat South Africa’s advocacy approach seeks to improve the lives of people in need of decent shelter by influencing systems, improving policies, and promoting laws and behaviors that allow people access to decent housing. Our advocacy methodology is built around a People Public Private Partnership model, which leads to strong partnerships between citizens, the government, the private sector and civil society to ultimately achieve integrated and sustainable human settlements.

Build program

The Build program brings together people from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds to build homes, communities and hope. Habitat South Africa partners with the provincial and local government departments of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation in support of the sustainable rollout of their housing delivery programs. Each July, we invite local volunteers to build homes with vulnerable communities, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation as its implementing agent. In October, volunteers again join Habitat South Africa as we build homes in commemoration of World Habitat Day.

Vulnerable groups housing

We seek to expand our support to vulnerable groups, with a focus on building adequate homes with orphans and vulnerable children, child headed households, persons with disabilities, vulnerable women and older adults. Funding is utilized to construct houses and train homeowners. The training is key to equipping participants for responsible homeownership and building their resilience to external stresses.

Water, sanitation and hygiene

In the communities that lack adequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, we provide the infrastructure, training and awareness raising for improved health, education and overall well-being. This helps to reduce water and sanitation related diseases.

What you can do


The loyal support of our donors enables us to continue building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter, thereby improving the overall wellbeing of vulnerable families. Please donate via


The Global Village program is resuming region by region until a safe and quality experience can be provided at scale worldwide. Please visit for more information and updates.


Habitat affiliates in the U.S. support the international work through an annual tithe. For additional information, email [email protected] or contact your local Habitat organization.



Habitat for Humanity South Africa, Piazza Level, Newlands on Main Offices, Main Road Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
Phone: +27 21 207 3126 Email: [email protected]




Stories and news

What is a slum?

In episode 3 of our podcast series, we talk about informal settlements in Africa with Charles Witbooi, Program Head for Advocacy and Volunteering Engagement at Habitat for Humanity South Africa.

Read more

Land & homes in Africa

At our conference in Africa we discussed the need to view land differently – not in purely technical terms, but to find solutions that are pro-poor, gender-responsive, accountable and sustainable.

Read more