The Capacity to Endure

Investigative report by Minette van der Walt and Raphaela Linders

Zwelendinga and New Rest are informal settlements nestled in a milkwood Forest on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Residents of these settlements have been living in poor conditions for more than 40 years. Everyday they face tough issues with sanitation, water access and lack of proper housing. After service protests by the community, the local municipality has started to provide standard RDP houses to the communities. However it was soon discovered that these are not a viable option due to the informal settlements location within the milkwood forest. Minette van der Walt and Raphaela Linders went to investigate a proposed solution; sustainable development. The proposed plan is to build a prototype sandbag house as an alternative to the standard RDP houses.

The community’s reaction to the film and an update on the unfolding story are posted at and

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