This case study, available from www.homeless-international.org/bfg, explores several related issues in South Africa, where a national movement of the urban poor has begun to address poverty and inadequate shelter through grassroots savings and credit programmes, linked into a national South African Homeless People's Federation. These issues are:
1) To what extent are South Africa's regulatory and financial systems compatible with the systems and practices of federations of the urban poor?
2) What is the scope, under current regulatory and financial systems, for an urban poor federation and its NGO partner to access commercial loan finance, particularly on international markets?
3) Are current institutional, financial and governance systems for urban infrastructure and shelter development in South Africa compatible with the systems and practices of an urban poor federation?