Photo Credit: Umnotho Village

The Umnotho community raised R4.5 million which they used to purchase land in the hopes of building a town that will offer them security and housing.


South Africa (07 December 2022) – The community of Umnotho is made up of 1350 low-income families that have grown tired of waiting, so they pooled their resources and raised R4.5 million to take matters into their own hands. The community has since bought substantial land and is working on building a town of its very own!

Coming from informal settlements surrounding Muldersdrift many were frustrated by the living conditions in the informal settlements. Living surrounded by uncollected waste, lack of sanitary ablutions and no running water is what drove the community to launch their massive project.

In South Africa, informal settlements provide no long-term security because they are often erected on invaded land that could be reclaimed and the houses are demolished or they settle on unsuitable ground such as floodplains, wetlands and dolomitic areas, this meaning houses are washed away regularly.

The Umnotho community started their community fund in 2011 with just 12 families and each household put in R150 every month. Through educational talks and awareness drives, they were able to inspire more families. The money was collected from 605 families and by 2015 they had raised R4.5 million. Enough to secure the purchase of 28 hectares of land.

The community then started the process of getting the correct permits to be able to call their land a town. The families continued to contribute their R150 per month, this covering the necessary environmental studies and town planning processes. By 2018 Umnotho achieved environmental and town planning approvals. They could start turning the land into a town that would give the community the security they desired. The town is now called Greengate Extension 74 or The Greengate Township.

Since starting in 2011, they have acquired a total of 33 hectares and the community is now made up of 1350 households. The next step in their planning is to secure the correct and functional installation of water and sanitation. This is the final requirement before the families can begin to build their houses.

The community have reached a point where they cannot do it alone. With everything approved and ready, they need to now find the funding for the costly infrastructure.

“The goal is to subdivide all the land into residential stands, parks, schools, and for community needs. It is essential for people to live in close proximity to socioeconomic amenities. To install basic services infrastructure that will support a decent standard of living.

To purchase more land to accommodate more people and to include social amenities like sports grounds and medical facilities. The desire is to achieve an integrated development that will support the people’s aspirations.” – KaacKai 

Startup Kaackai has been working with the community to get this next phase off the ground. KaacKai focuses on installing wastewater treatment systems. Working with the community, they hope to provide a system that will provide all their sewage and wastewater infrastructure. The team are raising awareness to help the community reach their goal so the next phase can start.

“Access to sanitation is the pillar to the entire Umnotho development. Without a sewer system, the housing development can not achieve the required approvals, and the building of houses cannot start.

Access to sanitation is also about dignity. Lack of sanitation is one of the main reasons the families started the Umnotho project. The current toilet system continues to humiliate and to erode people’s dignity. The desire is to achieve a sewer system that will restore people’s dignity and be friendly to the environment.”

You can follow the community’s progress via the Instagram account here.


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A post shared by Umnotho Village (@umnotho_village)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Umnotho Village (@umnotho_village)

Sources: KaacKai – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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