Tackling criminality and lacking security

Summary

Philippi: a place where everyone can live and work

Criminality is high in the Cape Town suburb and urban slum of Philippi. It’s also very unsafe and there’s little security about the future. So what’s needed there? Affordable housing, safe public transport to the center where education and care are available, job training, employment, shops and good facilities.

Goals

  • Economic development
  • The Inyanda Youth network at work.
  • Young people, specifically girls, are being given a voice in the district’s reconstruction.
  • Residents have a say in what happens in their district.
  • Council members and civil servants are being taught effective management skills.
  • A good plan for affordable housing, for low-income groups too.

Background

Philippi is a Cape Town suburb with an estimated population of 250,000. Life there is precarious in all respects: 45 % of its houses are illegal and of poor quality, and between its brick houses are slum dwellings that are constantly being demolished by the council then rebuilt. To give residents some security, there is a clear need for a plan and the relevant agreements.

The people living in the slum occasionally receive help in the form of charity, legal representation and lobbying. However, unlike in other African cities, they are not organized into groups or associations. Half of these residents are unemployed youths. Their families cannot afford decent nutrition or education to help them get jobs so these young people have zero prospects, giving rise to criminality and making the area extremely unsafe. But before they can work, these residents need to learn trades and helped to find jobs. Generally speaking, there is plenty of potential to find work, including in the slums.

Initial situation

We’ve been active in South Africa for 25 years but since 2008 we have changed our approach. Together with the government, local players, NGOs and companies, our plans cater for basic needs, such as security, housing and employment. A memorandum has been signed with the Cape Town Council to work together on Philippi. Council officials have been trained and in conjunction with the Council an application has been submitted to ORIO to improve Philippi’s accessibility. An action plan to build affordable housing in Hazeldean, where land is available, is also ready to be worked out.

Goals

Together with local residents, the council, a local youth network, landowners and experts, our plan takes all aspects into account in our efforts to convert Cape Town’s Philippi urban slum into a flourishing community. The plan is being jointly carried out. We aim to reduce the high level of criminality so that residents can safely walk the streets. It’s also vital that housing is made affordable, illegal accommodation is legalized, facilities are improved and that young people can be educated and find jobs. We aim to involve everyone in improving the quality of life in the slum.

Goals

  • Economic development
  • The Inyanda Youth network at work.
  • Young people, specifically girls, are being given a voice in the district’s reconstruction.
  • Residents have a say in what happens in their district.
  • Council members and civil servants are being taught effective management skills.
  • A good plan for affordable housing, for low-income groups too.

Project plan

Strength in numbers for the Philippi urban slum
We are bringing together all players in the Philippi urban slum, and together we are carrying out our integrated action plan.

Security and safety, with houses
We are bringing together residents, architects, the Council and landowners and we have a detailed urban development plan for 200 houses.
To also provide job opportunities, the people living in the slum are being trained as construction workers. They will help to build the houses.

Offering youths an alternative to violence
Following up the results of an employment survey, we will set up two training programmes for young people: one in the sports sector and the other in events.
Two professionals will coordinate these training programmes and provide the necessary support to the youth network, Inyanda Youth.
Together we’ll establish a sports academy in which young people can learn how to become sports coaches. In this way they will learn a trade and be able to find work. The young people will organize events and eight friendly matches in their own suburb. Meaningful and paid work will offer young people a way out of the constant loitering and violence that constitutes their current way of life.

Urban agriculture and a mini shopping center
In collaboration with the relevant players we will devise a plan that will train farmers in modern agricultural methods in an urban setting.

Thanks to a combination of a mini shopping center, small farming businesses and local demand for their produce, more services and affordable food will be available for the people living in the urban slum.

Sustainability

An approach that takes in all the relevant players means that this project has long-term viability. The residents and the local Council want a solution for the problem of a lack of prospects for young people, and thereby a solution to the security problem too.

The accommodation and infrastructure will be aligned with what the urban slum dwellers can afford.

The accommodation and other rights of the residents will be formalized.

The concept is such that the adopted solution can be applied to other Cape Town suburbs.

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