About Likhaya Community Development Enterprise
Likhaya Community Development Enterprise (LCDE) is a subsidiary of Emalahleni Housing Company (EHC), a social housing institution based in Emalahleni. The company is registered as a public benefit organisation (PBO) - registration number 2015/091623/081.
Community development is a structured intervention that gives communities greater control over the conditions that affect their lives. This does not solve all the problems faced by local communities, but it does build confidence to tackle such problems as effectively as any local action can. Community development works best at the level of local groups and organisations representing communities at local level constitute the community sectors.
Community development strives to improve and build a healthy community. A healthy community is one in which there is an appropriate balance between social development, environmental stewardship and economic growth. In other words, “healthy, well educated, skilled, innovative and creative people” who are engaged in their communities and participate in governance.
EHC’s philosophy is “social wellbeing and the stability of the tenant community are critical for the sustainability of EHC and for the development of neighbourhoods and communities. The threads of financial and social sustainability are closely intertwined and one cannot be achieved without the other.”
The concept of community development was conceived on the basis that as a social housing institution, EHC needs to distinguish itself from private landlords to be a “social landlord” that is caring, compassionate and assists people proactively rather than reactively.
The organisation was established with a view to create a good living environment for tenants, the main aim being to provide tenants with more than rental accommodation, but a community. The delivery of the LCDE programmes is an important part of the EHC vision that focuses on nation building, and enhances the creation of social cohesion which is at the crux of the constitution of the country of integrating people into communities and making sure that they have the support structures necessary to live decent and fulfilling lives.
Community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from collective action taken at group level and is a grassroots process by which communities:
- Become more responsible;
- Organise and plan together;
- Develop healthy lifestyle options;
- Empower themselves;
- Reduce poverty and suffering;
- Create employment and economic opportunities; and
- Achieve economic, social, environmental and cultural goals.
LCDE was conceptualised as a special purpose vehicle to drive this broad and fundamental objective to help build community capacity in order to address issues and take advantage of opportunities, find common ground and balance competing interests.
To ensure the wellbeing of tenant and broader communities by providing support to EHC in the form of community development initiatives.
Likhaya Community Development Enterprise strives to create healthy and sustainable communities by striking a balance between social development, environmental stewardship and economic growth.
- Social development – to ensure that development processes benefit people in that the way people interact in groups and society, and the norms that facilitates such interaction, shape development processes.
- Environmental stewardship – align community development initiatives to ensure the responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices.
- Economic growth – embark on initiatives to improve the quality and level of literacy of communities that contribute to an increase in the country’s productive capacity.
Likhaya Community Development Enterprise is managed by Emalahleni Housing Company. The function of community development has been placed within the Corporate Services Department and a Community Development Officer has been appointed who reports directly to the Corporate Services Manager.
However management and staff across all departments are very much involved and are very willing to assist with all community development projects and initiatives.