Original Research - Special Collection: Religious Innovation and Competition Amidst Urban Social Change

Precarious housing in the Salvokop neighbourhood: A challenge to churches in the inner City of Tshwane

Ezekiel Ntakirutimana
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4721 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4721 | © 2017 Ezekiel Ntakirutimana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 June 2017 | Published: 23 November 2017

About the author(s)

Ezekiel Ntakirutimana, Centre for Contextual Ministry, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa and Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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This article describes the daunting challenge of precarious housing in Salvokop located in the southern part of inner City of Tshwane, Gauteng Province. Insecure tenure, unmaintained dwellings, overcrowding, mushrooming of backyard shacks and the rise of the informal settlement, all that led to deep levels of vulnerability and neighbourhood deterioration. Current conditions show that life in that neighbourhood is fraught as substandard housing degenerated into slum and squalor. This concern emerged among other salient pressing issues of poverty and vulnerability from the World Café and Focus Groups with the inner city churches including those from Salvokop. The article set out to describe precarious housing, unpleasant living conditions owing to the fact that human beings stay in unsuitable dwellings while the environment deteriorates. Taking into account their circumstances, the article’s aim was to recapture the extent to which the residents suffer as a result of living in dwellings unfit for human habitation, rethinking an alternative model to respond. A theological agenda for future ecclesiological engagement was discerned forthwith recommendations. The article makes a contribution towards the theology of the city in that it stimulates church practices and housing of poor people in Tshwane. It does so by engaging in a unique way grassroots knowledge from the different inner city congregations. This process used the platform of surveys, World Café style gatherings and Focus Groups. In conversation with the primary source, this article also contributed with original data generated with the Salvokop residents whose stories helped to expend on horizons of housing, which is acknowledged. All the inner city church contributors of the realisation of the study objectives are also recognised.


Salvokop residents; shacks; spatial justice; affordable housing; inner city churches


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