Mshenguville is an informal settlement
in the Mofolo area of Soweto. It has been established since
+-1988 when a golf course was invaded by homeless people. Some
650 shacks exist in the area with approximately 4.5 people
living in each unit thus the population is nearly 3000 adults
and children. As this is an “illegal” settlement,
no proper facilities have been provided although water points
and temporary toilets are provided on the perimeter of the settlement.
It is the stated intention of the City
council to relocate the residents to a legal settlement where
they will be assisted to acquire formal housing in terms of
the Governments’ national
housing policy. It is likely that the residents will be required
to move some distance from the existing development but no details
are to hand at this stage nor is the timetable known. Residents
have been encouraged to register with the authorities for housing
Most of the residents are unemployed and a high level of poverty
is to be found in the area. Most of the residents have strong
connections with family in Kwa Zulu Natal where they originate.
A low level of employable skills have been identified and many
of the residents are only able to speak broken English in addition
to their mother tongue Isizulu.
Social services such as a local clinic and schools are to be
found in the proximity of the settlement. A gravel football field
is in the neighbourhood.
Involvement by www.soweto.co.za in
The website is owned by the travel and tourism company KDR
Sports and Adventure Travel (Pty) Ltd (KDR).
The company pioneered experiential tours in
Soweto in 2002 and in the course of the tours has developed a
relationship with many of the residents in the area as a result
of visiting the settlement with both leisure and
It has taken the decision to assist the community
in a number of areas in an attempt to bring some relief to the
harsh conditions that the residents experience. In this regard,
many of the tour groups have offered some assistance on an adhoc
Projects initiated by www.soweto.co.za
The company has sponsored the open team of the soccer club
Mofolo Knights since 2003. It has recently extended the sponsorship
to include the under 12 and under 14 junior teams. The sponsorship
includes provision of club kit, soccer balls, ground scraping
and entry fees. Since the introduction of this assistance the
team has improved its performance and risen in the Soweto rankings.
Still needed are soccer boots.
Establishment of a Kindergarden or Creche.
Older children are able to attend local
Government schools, but an identified need is the provision of
preschool facilities for the children of preschool age as they
lacked a decent environment, stimulation and some preparation
for school. Parents lacked finance to send their children to
private facilities nearby.
With the assistance of the Bridge Nursery School in Houghton
a young lady from the community received some training at the
Bridge and basic equipment was provided by the Bridge School,
various donors and KDR Sports. The Kindergarden was established
at the end of 2004 and is now able to accommodate +-20 children
in reasonable though crowded facilities within Mshenguville.
The facilities are located in half of a block built house within
an enclosed yard, which are rented from a resident.
No food is presently provide to the children on a regular basis,
although an offer of assistance in this regard has been offered.
A balanced daily diet is considered necessary.
Parents pay fees of R30 per month for each child.
- Special school assistance.
KDR Sports assists one of the young resident (Celiwe) who has
Cerebral Palsy to attend a nearby Sunshine centre for handicapped
children. The assistance includes paying school fees (after deduction
of a bursary from Sunshine), transport and incidentals such as
- Other Assistance/Projects.
The following are also undertaken by KDR on a regular or ad-hoc
Feeding of dogs-with high levels of poverty making it difficult
to feed the even the humans, KDR has had to step in to provide
regular dog food.
Youth nature excursions-trips to Pilanesberg game reserve for
young people who otherwise seldom leave the area have been conducted.
Employment opportunities-some ladies have benefited from beadwork
projects coordinated by KDR.
Many of the projects are ad-hoc, but the following ongoing
financial commitments have been identified as minimum to maintain
the projects on a monthly basis. Should additional resources
become available, the level of assistance can be expanded.
Individuals or corporate sponsors to assist in any way would
4.1 Kindergarden (21 children):
Rent R 100.00
Salary R 1000.00
Sundry expenses R 300.00
Feeding (rough estimate) R 500.00
Less fees (80% R30x21) R 500.00
Approx Monthly Total: R 1600.00
4.2 Soccer Sponsorship (Three teams):
Affiliation fees R2700.00
Field repairs/scraping R1000.00
Kit (one set pa) R2500.00
Transport ` R1000.00
Annual total Say R9200.00
4.3 Special schooling (one child with cerebral palsy-Celiwe)
Transport R 120.00
School Fees R 105.00
Incidentals R 100.00
Monthly total R 325.00
4.4 Dog food (one dog)
Food R 90.00
Monthly total R 90.00
5. Future Direction = Income
Clearly one of the most pressing needs of the residents is
income generation. This is an area that we would like to focus
on in the future but acknowledge the enormous difficulties that
would be involved to establish something meaningful and sustainable.
Cottage industries, skills development, literacy and English
competency are some of the ideas we have considered. Ideas from
our clients and friends would be welcomed.
6. Financial assistance.
Potential sponsors will be welcomed. We are in the process
of opening a separate banking account dedicated to the Mshenguville
project, but in the meanwhile any financial assistance may be
paid directly into the following Soweto account of the company:
KDR Sports and Adventure Travel (Pty) Ltd.
Fourways Crossing, code 009953
Acc number 42145319-2
Quote “Mshenguville Project” and
To discuss projects, donations or if you would like
to assist in some other way please contact Denis Creighton
by email or
call him on + 27 (0)82 9000105