The benefits?

Over and above the increased sense of ownership, dignity and pride that people have living in their upgraded home, there are even more tangible benefits.

Fires devastate informal settlements and take hundreds of lives each year. A huge issue is how easily and quickly fire can spread from home to home. The Ikhayalami designed prototype is made from a zinc/aluminium concealed fixed sheeting material that clips into each other. This helps with containment and offers protection from the onslaught of an approaching fire. Ikhayalami has numerous anecdotal evidence where their shacks or creches have acted as fire breaks. The high quality cladding and roof material also assists the structure in being flood resistant.

The cladding is so strong, not only because it’s 0.47mm thick (most shacks are built using cheap non-galvanized zinc that rusts easily and is only between 0.19 – 0.27mm thick) but also because the sheets interlock into one another. It’s so sturdy that the only way to open up a cavity to install a window is to grind it open. This helps protect from wind and rain, and adds extra security to offer peace of mind.

The minute a family enters their new home, there’s an immediate sense of pride, and over time, the enhanced living conditions markedly improves their wellbeing. The general health of those who suffer from TB, asthma and AIDS improves considerably as the home is safe from water ingress, particularly in the cold of winter. The improved ventilation is also hugely beneficial. Children start performing better at school and those who are employed show a higher attendance and greater performance at work – all because they no longer have to deal with the daily burdens of their clothing and furniture being soaked or their structure being too hot in summer. The added advantage of a Project Bayit build is that the employee feels valued by their employer and the relationship strengthens.

The strength of the cladding and the fact each sheet interlocks doesn’t just offer protection from the elements, it makes it near impossible for people to pry open or break-in. This helps protect the family from crime which is hugely beneficial for their mental, physical, and financial well-being.

A Project Bayit structure is the first rung on the ladder of wealth creation through property ownership. Though informal, these structures have a resale value and can help that person towards a deposit on a formal house down the line.

The cost?

The costs will vary depending on a couple of parameters. Once we know all the details, we’ll give you a proposal that suits your needs.

A life can be changed forever from just R18,500. A deposit of 24%, which works out to R3500, is made upfront and we will provide an interest-free loan of up to R15,000. Depending on your financing decisions, either you alone or in partnership with your employee, have 12 months to pay off the loan. These funds will be recycled to finance future loans to needy homeowners. When you help one family, you help another down the line.

You certainly can add extras to the home. When we do the affordability and needs assessment, we can discuss the details with you and we will come back to you with a quote and a proposal.

Who’s Involved?

This is the ultimate collaboration, bringing together those in need, those who want to help, and those with the know-how to make it all happen.

We see you and we thank you for taking the first step to helping someone live a better life. Whether you want to cover the full cost of a new home, co-finance with your employee, or contribute any amount – big or small – to build a home for someone in need, we thank you!

Whether they help you raise your children, keep your home tidy, tend to your garden, keep you safe, or work in your business – your employees are an important part of your life. Give back by covering the full amount of their new home or co-financing with them. We’ll help you make a decision that suits both of your needs.

Project Bayit is a joint initiative of Mensch and Ikhayalami, supported financially by The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Since 2006, non-profit company, iKhayalami have developed affordable technical solutions for Informal Settlement Upgrading. The homes they build are safe and have the option for alternative energy sources, drainage, water and sanitation. The quality and integrity of the structures are a dramatic improvement over self-built homes and are much stronger and less susceptible to fire, flooding, and break-ins. The flexible design means that the homes can be easily constructed to fit your employee’s needs. Ikhayalami has a long track record working in development, having made inroads on policy, upgraded numerous informal settlements, and built 1000s of improved shelters.

At the heart of Mensch is the idea that collaboration makes anything possible. Only when we work together can we co-create positive change for all. Mensch bridges silos and connects a huge network of change-makers across South Africa with people who can assist their cause. Project Bayit is the perfect example of co-creation.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is a global organisation that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity.

Construction Info?

We’ll deal with all the admin for you, but here are some answers to questions about the building process that you might already have.

Depending on the condition of the home that your employee lives in, we’ll either do a full or partial upgrade to ensure that their home is fire and flood resistant, secure, and has better ventilation. Then, based on the affordability check, the home could be fitted with extras if deemed necessary, such as alternative electricity sources, extra rooms, and if possible, running water and sanitation.

In informal settlements there are usually shared toilet blocks where on average 5 toilets need to service 25 households. Therefore, people do not have access to running water and flush toilets in their homes. The units built via this project will unfortunately not include own toilet facilities or running water, unless under favourable conditions where a hook up to running water is available.

The wait to receive a government subsidised home can be many years. Some people have been waiting for three decades. Project Bayit provides a more realistic approach to the housing situation to offer a more dignified, safe and secure upgraded shack solution that can be delivered quickly, efficiently, and affordably.

We typically see three types of owners. First and least likely, the person living in the shack owns the land. Second, they own the shack they live in, but the land is privately or state owned. Third, they rent from a landlord who may or may not own the land. 90% of the time people do not own the land where they live in informal settlements. However, due to government legislation, it’s not easy to evict people, so in most cases these settlements exist for more than 30 – 40 years. If your employee lives in a backyard shack, renting the space from someone else, we’ll draft an agreement between them and their landlord to indicate that the structure belongs to your employee.

Meet the team.

Project Bayit is a joint initiative of Mensch and Ikhayalami, supported financially by The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Contact Us.