Ilitha Labantu originated from the legacy of history and the long marginalization of poor peri‐urban residences, which are black townships around the city of Cape Town. Prior to post apartheid era there were few formal townships allocated for Africans around Cape Town namely; Langa, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Cross Roads and Khayelitsha. Later (in early 90’s) these townships were supplemented by a lot of informal settlements, subsidy housing for the middle class Africans e.g. teachers and the government subsidized houses (RDP after 1994 elections) for low‐earning people. As an organization that provides services to the most marginalized underdeveloped communities in the townships and in rural communities.
These areas are referred to as “townships”, because they accommodate Africans that happened to be of “low‐ income” category and they live below poverty line. The communities have a lot in common in terms of lifestyle such as:
c) Poor or no housing (shacks)
d) Crime and Poverty
In such communities violence is rife and domestic violence cannot be underestimated. We are aware of levels of domestic violence, regardless the status of the communities. As an organization we are still committed to carry out the above services as they highlighted in most of most our daily activities. Communities from these townships had multiple socio‐economic problems as they were at the lower level of the apartheid social strata. This led to the total disadvantage of these communities in terms of service delivery. Their disadvantage is the actual cause of most of the problems that Ilitha is addressing on daily basis. Ilitha Labantu was at first established at Gugulethu, which is the most central township of the main big five above‐mentioned townships.
Ilitha Labantu over the past years has grown and had other five satellite offices in provinces. The main reason for Ilitha Labantu to have offices in townships is to make services accessible and affordable in terms of transport costs for the people. But unfortunately with the current financial crisis a number of satellite offices had to be close until further notice. This organization is giving the true reflection of how services can be made accessible to its users. Our services are not only for accessibility. These offices are user‐friendly in terms of our values; language and professionalism are the pillar values of Ilitha Labantu. The manners in which we treat our clients as we use the languages of the region make our clients feel at ease.