IIEC's Bricks for Houses programme undertaken with a Development Marketplace award from the World Bank's Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Global Capacity Building Facility (GCBF) aims to introduce non-conventional brick-making technology to transform the housing market in South Africa. This envisioned market transformation will be achieved through capacitation of SMEs in local brick-making technology in order to access mainstream housing practices and activities in South Africa. A crucial component of changing the housing market to absorb more SMEs, as well as non-conventional bricks is the development of business models that will allow SMEs to enter the market and sustain their market presence through non-conventional brick-making.


IIEC identified a project partner in the form of Hydraform Africa Pty Ltd. Hydrafrom Africa is the designer and manufacturer of the Hydraform Compressed Earth Block machines which manufactures an interlocking compressed earth brick. IIEC and Hydraform formalised their relationship by way of a memorandum of understanding signed in May 2004 to 'increase the participation of SMEs and the uptake of non-conventional bricks in the mainstream housing market'. The technology and SME business model will be tested in case study projects of which the Lynedoch village in Cape Town will be the first. The IFC's participation in the development of the village will therefore be extended in the demonstration through the African Project Development Fund's role as the local agent for this World Bank GCBF award to IIEC.