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Late 1990's

Rabie Developers, who acquired the land for redevelopment into an Office Park, upmarket residential estate, school. As part of the development, it was agreed to provide homes to the many informal dwellers who lived on the sides of the M3 highway nearby.

Late 1990's


650 RDP semi-detached brick houses, with running water, sewerage and electricity were built and became Westlake Village.

Conditions were attached that the homes could not be immediately re-sold and the occupiers, many without jobs, needed to find ways to pay for electricity, water etc.. – the solution lay with creating informal dwellings around most houses which were then rented out. The result was an explosion in numbers to approximately 14,000 residents in nearly 2500 homes.

With unemployed parents, many pre-school children wandered the streets often ill-clad and hungry. There are no schools nearby so even the transport costs are a major challenge within the Community.

To address the social challenges, 6 churches agreed to combine their efforts via the formation of the Westlake United Church Trust (WUCT) to benefit the residents of Westlake Village. The churches involved were:

  • Church of the Holy Spirit, Kirstenhof
  • St Martin’s Anglican Church Bergvliet
  • Tokai Methodist Church
  • Christ Church Constantia
  • Bergvleit Congregational Church
  • Trinity Presbyterian Church Meadowridge.

A loan of R250 000 was secured to renovate the Commando Hall and make it suitable to serve the Community. 3 areas of priority interest were identified: Education, HealthCare and a Community Office.


Retired school teacher Eleanor Lawrence began a creche in outbuildings of the Commando Hall, which quickly became a pre-school - Emmanuel EduCare. The school had 3 teachers from the Comminuity and 35 children.



A grant was received from Lotto to expand and renovate the Administration Block (Offices) at Commando Hall.


In 2007 a further grant, along with donations from generous benefactors, enabled the expansion of the Emmanuel Educare into the buiding we use today. A new kitchen was built which serves 2 meals a day to the children at school, and other meals to Westlake Staff and Community.

Today there are 180 learners attending pre-school in our free-standing Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre. They are schooled in 6 classrooms supported by a teaching staff of 12.

In 2007 we began a partnership with the Department of Health for the provision of Home based Carers sourced mostly from the Westlake Community. Responding to the difficult life circumstances, special programs are run for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).



Today the Community numbers between 17000-20000 people, a healthy blend of multiple cultures and creeds, who still do not enjoy direct medical healthcare in the community. Whilst the Trust does provide free transport for some to the nearest clinic, efforts are underway to bring healthcare directly to the residents.

We continue to serve as a refuge for all the residents of Westlake Village, a lighthouse in the storm and will continue to support where we are needed.

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Westlake Community Centre, Corner of Egret Street and Stibitz Street, Westlake, 7945


Office Hours

Monday to Friday
08:00 to 16:00


NPO 030-186
PBO 18/11/13/100