“Imizamo Yethu was established in the early 1990’s as an area where mainly black people were allowed by the authorities to build homes known as ‘shacks’ or temporary shelters. Many of the black residents of Hout Bay/ Capetown could not afford, and by law were not allowed, to buy property or homes in Hout Bay and had no choice but to look for vacant land on which their temporary homes were built. This was done in many cases without permission and lead to much unhappiness and aggravation with their white fellow residents. In 1989 the local government had to intervene and a piece of property was developed with basic services (roads, water and sewerage) on which black residents were allowed to build their temporary shelters and named it: Imizamo Yethu Estate (Imizamo Yethu is Xhosa for ‘our combined effort’)
Since its inception Imizamo Yethu has more than doubled in size and it is estimated that approximately 15,000 people reside in Imizamo Yethu in the current year 2005. Many of the temporary shelters of the past are now being replaced by high quality, solid brick homes.”