Media Release - 05 August 2010

On Friday 06th August 2010, the TAU VILLAGE at 279 Struben Street, City of Tshwane will officially be launched by the Minister of Human Settlements, the Rt Hon, Mr Tokyo Sexwale on behalf of the leading social housing provider in the City, Yeast City Housing. A building that was once a slum, drug den, forced closure due to human trafficking and prostitution has now received a R30m make over into a building of love, hope and social inclusion.

Tau Village, considered a model for urban regeneration and social inclusion has just been nominated for the UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award by the Head of Department, Mr. Mongezi Mnyani from the Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing (DLGH). It recognizes a more social inclusive approach to urban regeneration, by creating spaces which are accessible and user friendly to people of all classes, culture, race and income group. It adds value to the physical infrastructure of the city as much as it does to the social upliftment of the inner city poor.

It is a combined village comprising of:

  •  81 self contained family units ranging from bachelors, 1 bedroom units and loft apartments • Home for Lerato House for girls at risk, a study centre, as well as drop in office for teenage girls and young women in need
  •  Home for the elderly citizens with 8 units
  •  2 of the units are tailor made for people with disabilities
  •  5 Commercial shops with a bakery, a restaurant, a hair salon, internet cafe and a Laundromat
  •  A crèche accommodating 24 children of woman in distress

Tau village was the only recipient of the scarce National Social Housing subsidy (Capital Restructuring Grant) in Gauteng in 2009/10 and accommodates families earning between R3500 – R7500 per month. Tenants pay as little as R750 for a bachelor unit of the same quality or better than similar private market units, to a maximum of R2250 for a one-bedroom loft apartments.

It also shows the possibility of a creative partnership between the City of Tshwane, the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF), Social Housing Foundation (SHF), Gauteng and National Department of Human Settlements, the National Housing Finance cooperation (NHFC), international financiers from the Dutch Guarantee Fund (DIGH) and non-governmental organisations, such as Tshwane Leadership Foundation (TLF), The project was conceptualized by Yeast City Housing, a subsidiary of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation over the past two and a half years. Prior to Yeast City Housing’s involvement, the TAU building has been one of the most notorious budget hotels in Tshwane. In 1998, during a raid, the South African Police Service found girls as young as 11 years involved in the commercial sex industry and being traded from this building.

The Tshwane Leadership Foundation, a faith based NGO based in the city, was asked to take in these girls to save them from ending in the police cells. Although its new project for teenage girls, which was to include a shelter facility, was not yet operational, TLF agreed to open up the facility the next day. Lerato House for teenage girls at risk has since that time supported and rescued hundreds of young girls from similar situations of abuse and crisis.

Lerato House continued to build strong relationships with the women in the budget hotel and also started the X-Network with the aim of bringing budget hotel owners, the police and NGO’s together, to commit themselves to eradicate child prostitution.

10 years after opening its doors to young girls, the Tshwane Leadership Foundation, through its social housing division Yeast City Housing made an offer at the auction of the TAU building. As this offer was accepted an amazing cycle was completed. A building that meant oppression for many young women and girls has now been transformed into a place of hope and new beginnings. Lerato House has now relocated their offices to the newly built Tau Village giving hope to these girls and changing memories for better.

Details of the launch:

Date: 06 August 2010
Time: 12h00 – 14h00
Venue: TAU Village, 279 Struben Street
Keynote speaker: Mr. T Sexwale, Minister in the Department of Human Settlement

For more information on this project:

Name: Dandy Matamela
Position: MD Yeast City Housing
Cell: 073 2072406

For any additional information / arrangements to view the place / photographs of launch:
ame: Kathrin Terblanche
Position: Communications
Cell: 082 534 8642


Name: Alison Wilson
Position: Development Manager
Cell: 082 958 3203

Background of issuing organization:

Details:Yeast City Housing
Contact: 012 320 7962

Background history

Yeast City Housing (YEAST) is the housing division of the Tshwane Leadership Foundation, committed to healthy urban communities and a high degree of social inclusion.

  • Yeast City Housing is a legally constituted Section 21 company (not for profit), owned by the Tshwane Leadership Foundation and its 8 partner churches. It is registered in terms of the Company Act no. 61 of 1973. The company registration number is 1998/04082/08. It is also registered in terms of Section 18A as a Public Benefits Organization, so that financial contributions to the company are tax deductible.
  • It was the only social housing institution operating in the City of Tshwane until recently. It is registered with the Registrar of Social Housing Institutions in the Gauteng Department of Housing and operating within the framework of the Social Housing Bill. Today is provides affordable rental and transitional housing options in Tshwane, with the full support of the office for Institutional Housing in the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.
  • It has recognized the need for diverse housing options in the city, in terms of housing size, design and tenure. YEAST has tried to address a number of these housing needs in its strategy for the future.
  • Initially it started with the provision of communal and transitional housing. It is now focusing on the provision of a range of tenure options in the inner city of Pretoria, including transitional, communal, special needs and institutional housing. It will also develop a greater range of institutional housing products to help facilitate institutional sustainability.
  • It has demonstrated that a community-based approached to social housing delivery can serve inner city people appropriately and flexibly, providing a wide range of tenure options.
  • In 1993, the City Centre Churches Forum in Pretoria gave birth to an ecumenical development agency, namely Pretoria Community Ministries (PCM), now known as the Tshwane Leadership Foundation, with the purpose of addressing social and developmental needs within inner city communities. Among the many challenges faced by TLF, was the multifaceted challenge of housing.
  •  TLF, then still PCM, then took a decision to establish a separate institution that would dedicate itself to housing development and management, which will contribute to inner city regeneration. Yeast City Housing was formally launched in 1996 but officially registered as a separate legal entity only in 1998.

A few factors prompted the creation of Yeast City Housing:

  • Due to road developments and other renewal projects a substantial number of low-cost housing units in the inner city were demolished. Over one December, many people knocked on the doors of inner city churches, enquiring about accommodation.
  • Single room facilities and rental apartment buildings in the inner city were at risk, due to abandonment by landlords, exploitative management practices, or the conversion of buildings for other uses.
  •  People moved through the PCM communities, found jobs, but the gap in the market between the streets or a shelter, and decent housing was often too wide; we needed to add another step to the housing ladder.
  • We recognized that we had people in our faith communities who had housing skills and expertise to draw from, and started to discern that housing could be a vital area for the church to invest itself in, a way to contribute to inner city regeneration, healthy communities and stable families.

Yeast never intended to act as a housing developer when it was established. It soon discovered, however, that the market which we seek to accommodate is not provided for by private developers, simply because there is such a low profit margin (and in some cases no profit).

We develop housing through the conversion of vacant buildings, optimizing land use on existing sites, the refurbishment of so-called bad buildings, and the construction of new housing on appropriate sites. We will continue to focus on the inner city including Salvokop, Marabastad, Pretoria West, Sunnyside and Arcadia. We are also exploring housing developments in the Greater Tshwane region.

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, August 5, 2010