In upmarket neighborhoods, small families experience the need to expand their homes.
Politicians own multiple dwellings to cater for their needs. Yet in the townships people are being supplied with one and two roomed houses to cater for large and sometimes extended families.
Perhaps it is time to plan around people’s needs and customs when building low cost houses in townships. We know that six kids in a two roomed dwelling will eventually result in backyard extensions.
Since rural Africans normally live in groups and have the extended families around them and it is not unusual for colored families to have the grandparents rearing the children while the parents go out to work, we should plan building-developments around these customs.
Homes should not be built and designed according to names on a list but for real families with needs.
Healthy community and family customs should not have to exchanged for a roof over the head.
- Design houses so that it will be strong enough to accommodate an upstairs extension.
- Make cost price building materials available to low income families who want to extend their homes.
- Set affordable guidelines as to the quality of building extensions, even in the townships.
- Use green building options and the use of solar and wind energy.
- Perhaps roof gardens could be considered to provide outdoor privacy.
- All township developments should have sports fields and instructors to instruct the children how to play the games. (Rugby, tennis, soccer and netball or hockey) . This will encourage the children not to resort to crime, gang violence and partake in the use of drugs due to boredom.
- Each township should have a
- sports club and a
- a public library,
- community hall and
- employment and adult skills developer and bureau which house also the
- local social welfare planner,
- Medical center,
- Animal clinic and a
- play park for the children.
- Family members can be clustered together so that they can support each other.
- Encourage homes of family members to be joined in order to create bigger living areas.
- Each housing cluster can be built around a garden for a communal living environment.
- Solar powered boreholes for the irrigation of the gardens.
- An incentive could be provided by allocating a prize to the best-run garden. It could be in the form of a rate reduction for the month or something that will make the living conditions better for the group – a few chickens or something.
- Encourage the community to police their public resources - the school, community hall, sports fields, play parks and library.