Citywide Slum Upgrading Phase II: Cape Town and Stellenbosch

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Focus Areas: Housing

The 7 cities project in Cape Town and Stellenbosch involves the re-blocking and upgrading of settlements. This project is a continuation of an earlier 7 cities project. 23 settlements have been fully mobilized. Settlements benefitting include Mtshini Wam, Delport, Innesfree, Marathon, Moeggesukkel, Parkington, and Ruimsig with the next tranche of funding being directed towards Kuku Town, Flamingo, Seaview, and Klapmuts. Upgrading activity has been started in six other settlements outside Cape Town. A re-blocking policy has been drafted and accepted by the City of Cape Town, to be implemented in Kuku Town and Flamingo. Shacks of 15 to 20 m2 in Mthsini Wam have been upgraded with new materials (partially provided by the City of Cape Town) and reconfigured to open up spaces for service provision from the City. This is planned by the City to start in 2014. Further funding (USD 200 000) has been leveraged from the City of Cape Town for upgrading of the Mtshini Wam settlement. An MoU was signed between the Alliance and the City of Cape Town as well as the Stellenbosch Municipality. In situ upgrading is increasingly seen by local authorities as the ideal way to approach informal settlement upgrading. There have been frequent engagements with government around the MoUs and settlement upgrading. Technical support is provided by the City in the form of a project manager. The Federation has ensured that community participation in upgrading is high. Community members are involved in project design, planning, implementation, monitoring, and holding the city officials and project managers to account where necessary. The Alliance has initiated a wide-scale information drive in the form of profiling, that extends into other cities (Durban, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Rustenburg, and Midvaal. These information drives are aimed at opening up the possibilities for more community led dialogues which will help inform City planning on informal settlements in all these regions. Challenges for the project include that the strong focus on project management might derail the social process. The bureaucratic process of implementing the re-blocking policy might stifle community participation. Additionally, political and conceptual challenges exist as re-blocking has been wrongly identified as a permanent housing solution in the city.

Location: Cape Town and Stellenbosch, South Africa
Bunita Kohler (+27) 21 689 9408 View Website
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Project information updated: 26 March 2014

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This project sees the South African Alliance of the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC), Informal Settlement Network (ISN), Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP) and uTshani, the national urban poor fund, expand and continue with the initial 7 Cities project, initiated in 2012. The partnerships with the Alliance and the Cities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch are the result of a concerted effort to invest in the networking of communities at the citywide level. This involved participation with various local officials, ISN, community members, and CORC.
Relationships with government allow project activities to be supplemented by state funding and resources. This will allow for the project to develop. Savings groups are active and communities are saving for their own upgrading project

Funding Information



Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

South African SDI Alliance

Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Rockefeller Foundation