Snethemba Botha and Cwenga Mafenuka, 6 inside their Khayelitsha home. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Snethemba Botha describes himself as a very happy man.

The 33-year-old security guard ascribes this to his new home, a double-storey in Khayelitsha’s BT Section, in which he lives with his partner and their three children aged 11, 6 and 3.

Botha’s house is in a development created by Ikhayalami, an NGO focusing on housing innovation in informal settlements, in collaboration with Urban Think Tank, ETH Zurich and the BT Section community of Khayelitsha Site C as well as other associates.

The original concept of Empower Shack was simply to upgrade shacks into timber-framed double-storey structures clad in galvanised zinc sheeting, but after recommendations from the City of Cape Town, the design was then amended.

The Empower Shack project has been selected by the Royal Institute of British Architects as one of 62 international buildings for the institutes’s 2018 International List, examples of “the most inspirational and significant new buildings created across the globe”.

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