Incremental upgrades for slums

The iShack Project uses solar electricity to show how slums can be incrementally upgraded in a sustainable and socially just way.


The iShack Project is providing solar electricity, on a pay-for-use basis, to residents of an informal settlement in Stellenbosch (Enkanini), South Africa. We aim to provide the service to over 1500 clients. We are training a group of local franchisees called "iShack Agents" to install and maintain the solar systems and to market the service in their community. The clients pay a monthly fee for the service to ensure long term operational sustainability. The energy service provides lighting, television, cell-phone charging and additional energy for music, dvd players and radios. The utility is scalable and in future, fridges and water heaters will be added.

The iShack Project is using solar electricity to demonstrate how ecologically sound technologies can be used appropriately to incrementally upgrade slums and at the same time build local enterprising capacity within the community. This enterprise development model recognises the significant existing social, human and physical capital within slums. A key objective of the iShack business model is to harness this existing capital to unlock a range of social and economic benefits and development opportunities for the community. Our vision goes far beyond simply providing clean, safe and affordable energy. Other technologies and services that can be incorporated into the model include off-grid sanitation, ecological housing, water services and food production.

We are now inviting donations from the public to help subsidise the installation costs that end-users pay. A small donation of just R170 gives an indigent family a 50% discount on their installation fee so that they can get a solar home system in time for the cold winter months. Visit our crowd-funding page on GivenGain