South Africa: Building affordable, green housing in a township

Located in the south of the sprawling metropolis of Johannesburg, South Western Townships —  Soweto for short — was once a settlement for workers in the nearby mining belt. These days it is home to over 2 million people, with around 10,000 new arrivals turning up each year — although exact estimates are difficult to come by.

Many newcomers to Soweto end up living in tightly clustered ramshackle huts that cost around 30 EUR a month in rent. Through his social enterprise, young entrepreneur Nhlanhla Ndlovu wants to replace these tin shacks with eco-friendly, affordable housing.

Hustlenomics homes cost around 5250 EUR per unit and are built using eco-bricks made from construction waste, and little cement. The enterprise is also training unemployed locals in building and bricklaying.

In 2019 Hustlenomics received the SEED Low Carbon Award, an international prize that recognizes climate efforts by small and medium-sized companies in emerging and developing countries.

A film by Stefan Möhl



06:43 Minutes


Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.