Social Infrastructure Programme


Despite increased spending on social infrastructure, communities and vulnerable groups still face a backlog, most severely in rural areas and in urban informal settlements. Thembalethu Development facilitates the development of infrastructure that has a broader development agenda than just the provision of infrastructure. Central to the infrastructure projects of the organisation is the social mobilisation of people, the provision of skills and work opportunities to them, and the provision of supply opportunities to local businesses.



    • We conduct an assessment to evaluate the infrastructure need, the topography of the project site, the available resources (contractors, suppliers, water, electricity and so on) and the distances between the project site and suppliers;
    • We thereafter develop project plans and proposals for the approval of the client;
    • Once the project has been approved, we facilitate stakeholder engagement and the signing of a memorandum of understanding among relevant stakeholders;
    • We appoint local contractors and suppliers; and
    • We monitor the progress of the project and provide feedback to the client and stakeholders.


Current and past experiences


  • We facilitated the renovation of old classrooms and the building of new classrooms, the supply of water and refurbishment of old school furniture for 40 rural schools in South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho. We built 10 classrooms for Nyakosoba-Harmony High School in Lesotho, a project funded by Harmony Gold;
  • We built houses for Lonmin mineworkers in Lesotho who were disabled as a result of a mine disaster; and
  • We facilitated the building of 200 houses in rural and scattered settlements of Elliotdale, with funding from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements (South Africa). The project trained 50 local people as small-scale contractors. The owners of the houses provided labour to the building process and managed the materials of their houses. Neighbours helped each other during the building process. This project scooped the Govan Mbeki Award in the Best Enhanced Peoples Housing Process Project category in 2012.

                                                     Elliotdale Housing Project.