Township micro-developers thrive in affordable market

10 July 2018

A new generation of property entrepreneurs is emerging in Cape Town's townships. They have seen a gap in the property market for low-cost rental accommodation, and have seized the opportunity by building solid bricks-and-mortar developments offering affordable micro-units.

Developments can include up to 10 units, are often double-storey, and vary in size from about 10sqm to about 40sqm. Rents range between R1500 and R3000.

"Call it backyarding version 2.0, in that it is bricks and mortar, the accommodation is legal, safe (built according to approved plans) and affordable," says Zama Mgwatyu, a project manager at the Development Action Group (DAG), an NGO with more than 30 years experience in urban governance, housing and community organising.

In research on the affordable rental market, DAG describes it as "a new type of affordable rental accommodation in townships, mostly located in the backyards of properties".

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