Better Living Challenge | Western Cape Government

Better Living Challenge

Better Living Challenge

The Better Living Challenge is a design competition which was launched in March 2014 calling for green and affordable products, systems and services, to improve the homes of people living in low-income communities.

Since its launch, the Better Living Challenge has been on the hunt to uncover solutions and ideas to improve the lives and homes of people living in low-income communities in the Western Cape.

Selection and Judging Timeline:

Better Living Challenge Selection and Judging Timeline

Better Living Challenge’s Signature Showcase Event

The event will comprise of life-size home structures, interactive displays and a programme of lunchtime talks will be taking place this October and November at the Cape Town station forecourt.

The Better Living Challenge Showcase is an interactive event taking place from Tuesday, 28 October to Saturday, 8 November 2014.

The exhibition was officially opened by Premier Helen Zille, MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela (Human Settlements) and MEC Alan Winde (Economic Opportunities) on Thursday, 30 October 2014. 

This showcase event exhibits a village of show houses set-up to demonstrate alternative building technologies, interesting structures and innovative processes, and shows what an actual house would look like once complete. The houses will be “furnished” with other exhibits and showcased solutions, creating an interactive show space. 

The houses will, however, be temporary and some of them will be donated as fixed structures after the Showcase to the Philippi Village development to benefit the community. These structures will become the Legacy Houses of the Better Living Challenge

Better Living Challenge Cape Town

The Showcase will provide you with an opportunity to view the products, interact with them and their inventors, and then through a public voting system, influence the selection of the winners of the Better Living Challenge.

There will be lunchtime talks taking place from Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The exhibition opening times are:

  • Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 17:00
  • Saturdays: 09:00 – 13:00

After an intensive selection process involving heated debate and extensive discussion, the Better Living Challenge Selection Panel, comprising of industry experts, chose 23 finalists and 33 competition exhibitors to show their solutions to the public.

The 23 finalists across the three categories are:

Connected Home

  1. Formula D interactive – Mobile inspection tool to help service delivery in informal settlements
  2. Dana Cannam – Qmod
  3. Mansoor Mohamed – ShareMyNet 
    Better Living Challenge Cape Town 3

Comfortable Home 

  1. Imari Crous – Counting Chair
  2. Justin van Blerk – The Karnik Filter (A plant xylem based water filter)
  3. Alejandra Olivera – BioPanel: Seaweed Construction Material
  4. Peter Krige – EKASI WATER CAP
  5. Emily Vining – Lumkami (previously known as Khusela)
  6. Luciano Wegmershaus – UD@Home
  7. Dirk Coetser – Transition POD
  8. James van der Walt – SolarTurtle


Structural Home

  1. Vernon Collis – Housing Delivered Through New Process
  2. Vernon Collis – California Pine (Pinus Radiata)
  3. Chris Whyte – Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Construction
  4. Clinton  Johns – IKYA Homes
  5. Bill Kirk – Temporary Informal Dwelling
  6. Kim Le Roux – informexchange
  7. Michelle Collis – Ikayacap 
    Better Living Challenge Cape Town 2
  8. Rotenda Nevhutalu – briGado
  9. Lawden Holmes – Embracing Informality
  10. Barry Lewis – UBU process
  11. Richard Lomax (Lighting the inside and outside of homes in informal settlements)
  12. Peter Shrimpton – Ekhaya


The Better Living Challenge is project-managed by the Cape Craft + Design Institute (CCDI), on behalf of the Western Cape Government's 110% Green initiative, which encourages organisations to commit to the Green Economy.

The Better Living Challenge is a collaborative project between the public and private sector, and civil society demonstrating that these partnerships work to promote economic development. It is an official project (WDC#204) of the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 (WDC2014) programme.

Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “In the spirit of our motto, 'Better Together', we put the challenge out to our residents to come up with innovative, sustainable solutions for low-income housing. The entries we received far outweighed our expectations, and I am looking forward to seeing the winning concepts brought to life in a way that improves livelihoods in our province”. 

Better Living Challenge Videos:

Innovation Takes to the Streets:


Embracing Informality: A Sustainable Alternative to RDP


The content on this page was last updated on 31 October 2014