BACKGROUND / HISTORY
In 1998, then President Nelson Mandela, convened a Presidential Job Summit to address the pressing issues of joblessness, simultaneously addressing hunger, poverty, skills, etc. This summit agreed on a number of interventions in the economy and in general. The summit agreed that the basic need of our people is shelter.
Given how our society evolved, with the majority of our people staying in former Bantustans/homelands where there were no job opportunities, our people always find themselves in big cities and towns for work opportunities without proper accommodation. They live in shacks, rent backyard rooms or stay in hostels.
As a result, a decision was taken by the summit to consider alternative forms of rental tenure in response to these challenges.
Emalahleni (previously known as Witbank), Johannesburg and Ethekwini were decided to be pilot projects for the delivery of 5000 units each.
Emalahleni Housing Company (EHC) was established in 2002 as a registered Section 21 social housing organisation, and has since become the largest social housing landlord in the Mpumalanga province managing over 1300 units and providing homes to more than 4000 people within the low to middle income band.
EHC’s Vision is “To be more than just a landlord, to put our tenants first of what we do and to deliver great accommodation and services, supporting communities and improving lives”
EHC’s Mission is “To build communities by providing sustainable, quality housing and diversified products and services”
Core values that drive and underpin EHC’s operations are:
- Honesty and Integrity
- Tenant focused
- Respect and Team work
- Learning and Growing
- Passion to serve
- Accessibility and responsiveness
ORGANISATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND CULTURE
EHC’s organisational philosophy is to develop and maintain a democratic, creative and effective organisation that is consistent with its mission, strategic direction and core values. The structure of the organisation is flat as opposed to an elaborate and steep hierarchy. The quality of work is thus determined through the performance output.
Management practices are participative, with joint decision-making and accountability, and open sharing of information through different sessions and activities that take place on an ongoing basis. These characteristics enable the staff to be represented, empowered, and able to participate meaningfully in the decision-making processes.
EHC’s organisational culture is “task orientated” and emphasizes co-operation, networking and shared goals and interests. Employees are encouraged to work in a team environment that is job or project focused. To this end, the organisation seeks to bring together the appropriate resources, the right people at the right levels of the organisation, in making full use of the abilities of other staff members.
The organisation strives for continuous improvement in internal and external business processes where performance is measured. Areas to be looked at include leadership, policy and strategy, customer (tenants) and market focus, people management, impact on society, customer satisfaction and business results.
EHC is located in the city of Emalahleni, in the Mpumalanga Province.
EHC is fully accredited by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority, and received the prestigious award of “Most Improved Social Housing Institution in the Country” in 2013, which has given the company recognition as one of the leaders in the social housing industry. EHC also received 2016 Govan Mbeki Award for the “Best Social Housing Project” (Klarinet X6 – Lesedi Courts 1 & 2)and 2016 Govan Mbeki Award for the “Most Beautiful, Clean and Enhanced Neighbourhood” (Klarinet X6 – Lesedi Courts 1 & 2)
EHC aims to give the community more than houses. It is a support system and a network that provides a better place for people to live, but at a reasonable price.