Planact – Blog

Civil Society’s reorientation: Informal settlement clusters

Civil Society’s reorientation: informal settlement clusters, a means to improve community participation and bring systemic change in local governance, by Dr Hloniphile Simelane ‘How can someone participate (effectively) in something she/he doesn’t [...]

THE NEVER ENDING HOUSING CHALLENGE: Reflection on Thembelihle informal settlement

Written by Siphiwe Segodi in his capacity as Programme Coordinator at Planact *Siphiwe Segodi is currently also chairperson of the Thembelihle Crisis Committee Introduction At the rally in Soccer City stadium, few days after his release, Nelson Mandela made important remarks regarding housing during his speech. He stated that when his party assumed power government would build better houses, and not the “match-boxes” that the apartheid government built for Africans in townships in particular. This statement gave hope to millions of previously marginalised communities. However, after two decades of democracy, many informal settlements residents lack access to decent shelter and tenure security. Thembelihle is an informal settlement in the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) comprising 7 000 households which has been engaged in a struggle to change the situation. While it would be unfair to completely disregard efforts made by government to address the housing problem since then, indications are that the country seem to be fighting a losing battle. What has been the government’s approach to the challenge? How have the marginalised communities responded? The experience of Thembelihle provides insights into these questions. […]

Wattville Update: A string of good news after social audit findings

4 July 2017 - Following the presentation of social audit findings by the Wattville community leaders, last week, there have been a string of good news for the three informal settlements. On the 27th of [...]

Wattville Informal Settlements presenting social audit findings

27 June 2017 - Community representatives from Harry Gwala, Homeseekers and Emlotheni in Wattville, shared their findings of the collaborative social audit conducted on the outsourced sanitation service in the three informal settlements and tabled [...]

Our June 2017 News Journal Is OUT!

Grab a warm cup of coffee and enjoy our latest edition of the Planact News Journal. Subscribe to the newsletter by sending us an email on

Communities Analyse the City’s Budget

16 May 2017- Residents from Orange Farm and Thembelihle are going above and beyond by conducting their own analysis of the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) budget and investing heavily in putting together detailed submissions that [...]

Empowering Women & Young People in Breyten

Planact’s work has extended to Breyten in Middelburg to address the needs and concerns of women and youth that are often overlooked. The aim of the project is to capacitate rural women and youth living [...]

Factsheet – Active Citizenship in Rockdale, Mpumalanga

Planact's Factsheet on our work in Rockdale, Mpumalanga.

It’s not National Treasury that is blocking economic transformation

Opinion Piece by Albert Van Zyl, Country Manager at the International Budget Partnership-South Africa. 6 April 2017 - President Jacob Zuma has blamed the National Treasury under Pravin Gordhan for the slow pace of economic [...]

Special Movie Screening for Orlando/ Noordgesig Youth

31 March 2017 - Young people in Orlando / Noordgesig were treated to a special screening of Vaya The Movie by Planact in partnership with the Future Film Training Trust, this week. Vaya is a [...]

Finally! Clean running water for Spring Valley Informal Settlement

30 March 2017 - Community members in Spring Valley Informal Settlement, in Emalahleni, can finally open taps to clean, regular and running water after a long struggle with poor and limited access for over twenty [...]

Corridors of Freedom Indepth Interview – Orlando East

The Corridors of Freedom are a City of Johannesburg project that is expected to change the way that some of the older parts of the city look by creating more housing as well as work [...]

A Youthful Spring in Breyten’s Step

In February 2017, the Planact team headed out to Breyten for a workshop that would begin the partnership between the organisation and the community. The Women and Youth Development in Mining Towns Project centres on [...]

Corridors of Freedom – Public Engagement – Orange Grove Precinct

13th February 2017, Spark Road Gallery, Orange Grove Revitalising established old areas of the City is one of the main objectives of the Corridors of Freedom. Introducing new high density housing, more social amenities and [...]

Corridors of Freedom Preliminary Findings Presentation

Planact has hosted its 2nd discussion forum to roll out findings from preliminary interviews and social mapping in the corridors of freedom (CoF). The preliminary findings, [...]

INVITATION: Corridors Social Mapping Presentation

Join us this Friday, 18th November 2016! Details below.

Financial Literacy for community leaders

Planact  in collaboration with Charter Academy and ABSA hosted an interactive Financial Literacy Training on the 10th of November 2016. Attendees included community representatives from areas such as Wattville, Soweto (Orlando East), Thembelihle, Protea South [...]

Understanding Local Government: KwaZenzele & Masakhane (19th & 20th October 2016)

Planact conducted an 'Accounting For Basic Services' training workshops in both Masakhane and KwaZenzele on the 19th and 20th of October 2016, respectively. The purpose of these events was to familiarise the community leaders with [...]

MyJoziMoves: Tracking Mobility

Mapping Mobility with Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) is a research study conducted with a smart phone app called myJoziMoves. The project is headed by Lindsay Howe, a doctoral student at the ETH Zurich Department of [...]

Social Audits in South Africa

Planact has recently been part of the organisations to form a Social Audit Network in South Africa. The Colloquium was a space to discuss the importance of citizen based monitoring processes with a specific focus [...]

Masakhane Community Empowered

Planact, this week, has trained community leaders in the Masakhane settlement, just outside Witbank, to better understand their how local government works. The specific objective for this initiative is to empower marginalised communities in informal [...]

Participate in our Transport Research via your phone!

Planact has recently joined forces with the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (CGRO) and The WITS School of Architecture and Planning on a ground-breaking new research project on transport in the Gauteng City-Region. We want to find [...]

KYD Official Launch in KwaZenzele

The Kwasa Youth Development Committee (KYD) in partnership with Planact celebrated Heritage & Habitat Day in Kwazenzele on the 24th September 2016. This was part of KYD’s official launch to the Kwazenzele community as a [...]

Bin Distribution in KwaZenzele

Background Planact, together with selected community members in KwaZenzele conducted an enumeration and shack numbering exercise in 2014. The process was accompanied by a questionnaire which included a particular question on other essential community requirement [...]

Jabulani Agricultural Cooperatives Training (June 2016)

The Event: Community-based Organisational Development Training Workshop Planact was requested to assist with capacity building training of three cooperatives in Jabulani and Eland Farm, in the Randfontein Municipal Area. This is part of Planact's community [...]

Jabulani Informal Settlement Enumeration Process

The Situation Jabulani informal settlement is located within the jurisdiction of Randfontein Local Municipality. It is situated on municipal land with a prospect for upgrading. The municipality has improved the sports facilities in the area. [...]

Planact hosts Xenophobia Awareness Day #AfricaDay

As we commemorate #AfricaDay2016 we look back at our efforts to achieve a united Africa. In April 2015, Planact, in collaboration with the Spring Valley Development Committee, Community Policing Forum and Thembelihle Home Based Caregivers [...]

Inner City growth strains – A synopsis of housing challenges in Johannesburg

The abolishment of apartheid in 1994 raised hopes that under the new government there would be improved housing, jobs and accessible services to residents in a short to medium period. Despite the optimism that prevailed [...]

Spring Valley Community march to Nkangala District Municipality

“If they don’t bring the services, we will go to them to demand that they bring the services” The build-up Frustration with the slow pace of service delivery in Spring Valley informal settlement boiled over [...]

Community Tools to Address Interruptions in Service Delivery

The background Planact’s work in strengthening marginalised communities to enable them to effectively participate in governance has led to the development of four tools that will address socio-political interruptions in service delivery. The tools draw [...]

eNkanini Preliminary Settlement Planning

The Event Date - 12th & 13th of November 2015 Venue: Enkanini Informal Settlement, Leandra, Mpumalanga The Siqalile Development Forum (SDF) embarked on a team building/strategic exercise for organisational development and plan out a settlement [...]