Helping to address South Africa’s human settlement needs

As part of the DBSA’s CSI programme, we joined forces with Habitat for Humanity, South Africa once again participating in the Mandela Week building programme.

High rates of urbanisation, a growing population, financial constraints and rising development costs have made it impossible for the South African government to keep pace with the country’s demand for housing. There is an estimated backlog of housing in the country amounting to approximately 3 million units. 

As part of the DBSA’s CSI programme, we joined forces with Habitat for Humanity, South Africa once again participating in the Mandela Week building programme. The Bank sponsored the construction of five houses in Palm Ridge near Katlehong in the East Rand. Our sponsorship extends beyond the completion of the buildings, to fully equipping the house so that they are ready for occupation. When the buildings are handed over to beneficiaries they are not just houses, but homes. 


Impact in the year under review

  • Each house is estimated to house a minimum of five family members, which over the two years is 50 people whose lives changed for the better, at a cost of R100 000 per household or R500 000 per annum.
  • Interviews with families that received DBSA sponsored, finished and furnished houses, reported that their lives were significantly transformed. They were motivated to make added improvements to the base created by the DBSA, such as paving the yard and planting gardens.
  • Improved confidence levels and self- esteem enabled the recipients to seek and find better employment. Some were able to start small businesses and invite other beneficiaries to collaborate in community skills development that were targeted at income generation.
  • Young people from the local communities were offered short-term employment as project leaders, community liaison officers and cleaners, fostering skills they could use for future employment. 
  • For the DBSA staff, the build project provided an opportunity to offer their time and labour to build houses that would benefit the needy communities as well as exposure to communities in which the DBSA operates and interaction with partners. Staff expressed fulfilment for participating in service to others.
  • The expansion of our network of volunteers has been a key part of the building process in the year under review. In addition to the DBSA employees, students from Varsity College, University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg were able to join the programme as volunteers. Through the programme, students gain exposure and make a positive contribution to under-resourced communities. 
  • In recognition of the DBSA role as a key sponsor of Habitat South Africa’s build programme, a DBSA Executive, along with the Minister of Human Settlement, addressed the building community at the official launch of the project. The audience consisted of corporate leaders from organisations such as Old Mutual, Nedbank and Colgate, as well as government department including the City of Ekurhuleni, Treasury and the Provincial Department of Human Settlements among others. 
  • Houses built by the DBSA, with the added improvements, leave a DBSA footprint in communities where they participated in the build programme