ASLA Foundation Project

The Cape Agulhas Safe Haven community facility has provided shelter to abused women and their dependents since 2015, when ASLA Construction first built the facility. At the time the initiative was impelled by the tragic death of Anene Booysen, who had been gang-raped and assaulted close to the community housing being constructed by ASLA.

The extension project forms part of the ASLA Foundation’s continued focus on the development of community-benefiting, social infrastructure projects which include places of safety, school infrastructure and libraries. The ever-increasing requirement for spaces of safety in rural areas, as well as the at-capacity utilisation of the existing facility motivated the expansion project, which commenced in 2022.

The Cape Agulhas Safe Haven extension included a 12-sleeper dormitory, two bathrooms, an office, and a counselling room. The facility was fully furnished, and the stoep area enclosed to allow for more privacy for the temporary residents. The kitchen doubled in size and was fitted and furnished to catering standards, to enable Heavenly Promise48 (the NPO that manages the facility) to provide meals to hundreds of people in the local informal settlement. Meals are prepared on Monday’s using groceries donated by the local Checkers supermarket, and on Friday’s meal packs are handed to residents, to prepare at home.

“Our communities need more facilities like this one, where we are able to offer victims of abuse some safety, reprieve, comfort, counselling and advice while they are finding their feet again,” says Lana O’Neill from Heavenly Promise48. “However, it is not a permanent residence, and we accommodate them here for a maximum of three months, and they are taken back in only twice, as it is essential that they break the cycle of abuse.”

The extension project was made possible through generous support and funding by the National Lotteries Commission, ASLA Construction, ASLA DEVCO, Moov Fuel, Much Asphalt and Sizabantu Piping Systems. “We are incredibly grateful to all contributors – as without this funding, we would not have been able to make this essential upgrade happen,” says Mervin Green, on behalf of the ASLA Foundation. “The Foundation aims to use the newly expanded Cape Agulhas Safe Haven as a benchmark to facilitate the implementation and construction of more of these essential facilities within the poorer communities across ASLA’s geographic areas of operation, and we hope to find partners and form alliances that can address this urgent social infrastructure and community support requirement.”