South Africa

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

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Country Facts:


  • Capital cities Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria
  • Population  59 million
  • Life expectancy – 64 years
  • Unemployment rate – 28.5%
  • Below poverty line  40%

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


Habitat Facts

  • Habitat started in South Africa in 1987.
  • Individuals served in FY2019 –  1,870
  • Through new construction – 1,420
  • Through home repairs – 405
  • Through incremental building – 45
  • Volunteers hosted in FY2019 6,377
  • Citizens involved in training/development – 4,629


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 extreme poverty. 

The current housing backlog is in excess of 2.3 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


We define advocacy as engaging government to change policies and systems to eliminate barriers to adequate, affordable housing. Habitat South Africa seeks to improve the lives of South Africans in need of improved shelter by influencing systems, improving policies, and promoting laws and behaviors, which improve peoples’ access to housing.

Build program

Habitat South Africa’s homebuilding program consists of two elements:

  1. Construction projects where we build houses in partnership with construction companies to facilitate decent homes for corporate employee housing projects, vulnerable groups housing projects and employer-assisted housing projects. 
  2. Volunteer build events serve as entry points and catalysts within multi-year strategic projects where we seek to engage over a longer period of time with volunteers and specific communities. We invite corporations to send teams of construction volunteers on a transformative team-build experience across a five-day build week.

Community development

Community development is a broad term applied to the practices and principles of involved residents, citizens, civic leaders, activists and professionals who work to improve the social, economic and environmental quality of our communities. It is the result of an ongoing and organized effort in a community. It is based upon a shared vision for the quality of life that residents wish to achieve and sustain. Habitat’s mission and principles call us to participate in this work and to specifically do so through partnerships that focus on shelter solutions.


What you can do


The loyal support of our donors enables us to continue to bring people together to provide decent shelter, improve livelihoods and reduce housing poverty for individuals.


Habitat South Africa works with schools, universities, corporations and other groups of committed individuals who volunteer their time and skills in the three regions in which we serve: Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.


Habitat for Humanity’s tithe program supports carefully chosen building and shelter projects that help build housing in the world’s poorest places.



Cape Town :  [email protected]; Office 201, Pine Park, 1 Logan Way, Pinelands, 7405 

                        T: +27 21 657 5640; M: +27 81 840 7968;



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.

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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.

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