Makhulong A Matala (a seSotho phrase which translates as ‘greener pastures’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of JHC and is responsible for the range of community development and support services that JHC offers its tenants.
Makhulong was established in 2004 and operates with a full-time staff of eight people, including management, Community Development Officers, Community Development Coordinators and an Administrative Officer, based at JHC’s head office in downtown Johannesburg.
It evolved out of JHC’s community development department which, since 1999, had been working with the JHC tenant community on social concerns, issues around rights, responsibilities and recourse, life skills training and vocational training, focused on income-earning opportunities.
Today, as well as providing day-to-day support services to JHC across a broad range of tenant interactions, Makhulong manages various community programmes that directly support the challenges faced by and closely linked to JHC business and services that meet specific tenant needs.
Youth & Children development
- Junior Soccer Development - Makhulong has established a junior soccer development project with teams across JHC portfolios. Clinics under the supervision of external and professional coaches are conducted in each portfolio. These culminate in mini five aside tournaments with a Taffy Cup tournament at the end of the financial year with a focus on junior teams U15, 12 and 10 boys and girls from all the JHC buildings. The plan going forward is to sustain the Junior Soccer Development Programme and to seek more parental buy in and establishment of parents committee to run their affairs of activities in this regard.
- Portfolio Holiday Programmes - Makhulong hosts cluster or portfolio holiday programmes twice a year, in March and September. The events are fun filled, with lots of educational and stimulating activities arranged for children. These include activities such as face painting, modelling competition, 5 A-side street soccer, running competitions, games and a jumping castle. Makhulong hopes this trend continues as Makhulong’s main objective is to ensure that maintenance issues related to children are reduced.
Tenant Support Services
- Reduction of electricity consumption through implementation of awareness campaigns - Makhulong has in the past financial year been working with Portfolio Officers; HSV’s and floor representatives to address the issue of high water and electricity bills in communal areas at certain buildings. The idea is to support JHC’s objective of reducing the high consumption of electricity in the buildings. Tenants now understand the effects of overcrowding and impact on electricity and water bills.
- Reduction of rent arrears in recidivist tenants - Makhulong supports the Debtors Control Department in trying to reduce rent arrears in our buildings. In the past financial year Makhulong hosted a number of family financial management workshops in respect of defaulting tenants.
- Food Gardens - Makhulong has implemented Food Gardens at various buildings aimed at greening buildings and serving as sustenance for tenants.
The JHC initiated the eKhaya Neighbourhood project in 2004 to encourage and sustain the economic and social wellbeing of its residents, workers and visitors. To establish an investment node which attracts and protects the financial investment of individual home owners, larger property owners, small and large business and financial institutions. To establish an investment node which attracts and protects the social investment of private and public investors in the form of schools, clinics, neighbourhood leisure facilities, parks, libraries, religious organizations. Over the last twenty-five years Hillbrow and the adjacent flatland areas have gone through a number of changes. These changes affected the residential and business composition of the neighbourhood, the governance structure and the infrastructure. Makhulong recently initiated Neighbourhood Development in Troyeville. Makhulong hosted introductory meetings where all potential stakeholders, property owners, Housing Supervisors, the Jeppe Police Station CPF and the Youth Desk with community members, church pastors, Facility managers, Hollard who own a house which has been converted into a training centre in the neighbourhood and NGOs to share their vision for the area.
Makhulong operates as a non-profit public benefit organisation. While JHC covers the overhead costs of Makhulong, tenants are required to pay a nominal fee for the extra services where professional service providers are contracted or external facilities and administrative services are required.