Together with our academic partners, we collect quantitative and qualitative data to measure the impact of our programmes on the communities where we work.


The shack homes in the informal settlement of Munsieville have many dangers for their residents, including risk from fires caused by paraffin or candles. The Community Resilience Hub has helped to make the homes safer through a Shack Safety training programme.

It takes 90 seconds for a fire to destroy a shack as this video shows. In 76% of the cases where a fire engine was called to an informal settlement of Gauteng Province, Free State and Cape Town (with very similar structures to Munsieville) it could not get through to the fire due to the high density in which informal settlements are built with no roads or escape routes. This is also one of the reasons why fires spread very easily and affect the whole neighbourhood.

In 2011 the TPM started a shack safety campaign to prevent fires. Members of the Community Resilience Hub and other volunteers trained the community in several impactful prevention methods like the use of safe candles and stoves, escape routes and the famous 'stop-drop-roll' exercise which teaches children how to behave in a case of fire. The campaign is ongoing and to date more than 6000 homes in Munsieville have been inspected and after the training granted the 'TPM safe shack' label. As a result of this campaign, there were only 2 cases of shack fires in Munsieville in 2014, with only minor injuries, in contrast to the general trends elsewhere in South Africa.


South Africa shack fire trends 1990-2010 (taken from: Tlou Daisy Raphaela, University of the Free State, 2011)

Sources for shack fires, average in Gauteng Province, Free State and Cape Town townships in 2010

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