Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading

Project Name

Lasting Change IKAPA Through VPUU

Beneficiary Country

South Africa

Funding theme

A safe place to be

Start Date

August 30th 2013

Amount Awarded


End Date

August 31st 2019

For years, South Africa has struggled with a legacy of totally inadequate housing for the majority of the population.

In 2012, the City of Cape Town built 7,000 new houses, but has an official waiting list of 400,000 families.

Many of these people live in informal settlements where hundreds queue for water and toilets, there is little work or education, the majority of people may have HIV/AIDS and violence is endemic.

Over the last six years, an innovative urban planning project has been developed, placing people at the heart of upgrading their own communities and reducing crime at the same time.

The approach encourages people to make decisions on how community space is used and which services are needed, while also providing stimulus through education, sport and employment. The people themselves retain control of the improvements.

Working with City officials, this project will now be rolled out into three new informal settlements with especially challenging histories of violence and deprivation.

By integrating basic services like water and toilets with early childhood education, legal aid services (particularly for women), business start-up training and much more, the project will lead to long term gains and a model which can be replicated elsewhere.

A particular feature of the project is to speed up further investment from the municipality in the long term.

This project is co-funded by Comic Relief and UK aid.

Two boys posing in a refugee camp

Providing safe places to live

Comic Relief has been funding work around safe and secure shelter for marginalised communities for over 25 years. We have supported essential services to support people who are homeless across the UK. We have also supported psychosocial support for refugees and asylum seekers as well as helping communities in informal settlements across the world improve their own communities.

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