About the project

Township Roots is a Western Cape based organisation currently focusing on the Cape Town townships of Nyanaga and Philippi where the poverty and unemployment rates are alarmingly high.

Shouldering the burden of South Africa’s apartheid legacy, the schools in these communities are overcrowded, under-resourced and have low pass rates with school dropout starting in primary school and accelerating into high school. As few as one third of adults living in these areas have completed secondary school and just over half are unemployed.


These communities are in dire need of transformation and face many social ills including gangsterism, violent crime and substance abuse. Township Roots aims to help break this cycle of poverty and keep children in school by:

  • Motivating children’s participation in their education through the provision of fun and engagingafter-school activities
  • Equipping children with the practical and psychosocial skills they need to stay in school
  • Building a positive sense of belonging and network of social support in each school and its broader community
  • Facilitating connection to academic support for children where necessary.

 What sets Township Roots apart?

Township Roots is a collaboration between childhood friends and experienced community development practitioners, Bulelani Futshane and Nosisa Mhlathi. Having grown up in townships themselves, they understand the unique social dynamics of these environments; the needs and realities of the children who live in them; and the community buy-in processes needed to make programmes such as Township Roots a success.