In 2003, when the Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC) was almost a decade old, Makhulong A Matala Community Development Services NPC was set up to turn the JHC’s buildings into more than just houses.
Makhulong A Matala (which means greener pastures in seSotho) – turns houses into homes, buildings into communities and areas into neighbourhoods. We build vibrant places where people can live in safety and comfort; we build meaningful connections to make people love where they live. Social cohesion and community integration is behind everything Makhulong A Matala does.
Makhulong A Matala works with tenants and in neighbourhoods, with other stakeholders in the city, in the inner city areas where JHC buildings are found. Our tenants see that they can make a difference in their own lives and in their communities. All our programmes are designed with one thing in mind: happy tenants with strong bonds between neighbours.
Our role in the JHC is mainly educational: we teach people the best ways to live respectfully and responsibly in a community environment. We operate in three areas: youth and child development; neighbourhood development; and tenant support services to help tenants to take control of their lives, to recognise their rights and responsibilities, and to participate in the decisions that affect them.
In creating safe buildings, neighbourhoods and affordable flats, Makhulong has built a culture of trust between people. Tenants who are safe and comfortable and who are proud of their homes, stay where they are, keeping the JHC’s buildings fully let by responsible tenants who together create a community.
Makhulong A Matala, in essence, is bringing a village spirit to our buildings, where a community problem is everyone’s to resolve, where people help each other with practical and emotional support, where each person is involved and is important, where people love where they live.