Greenfield Services and Housing in GcinulwaziBack To Projects
This is a Greenfields development project, involving the installation of services and construction of 108 houses in Gcinulwazi in Newlands East in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Project activity focused on benefitting backyarders and evictees and was pre-financed by uTshani fund, to be paid back by Provincial Government. Pressure from local politicians meant that some of the beneficiaries were people who were not Federation members, but joined the Federation in order to access the land. Land tenure arrangements were such that once title was transferred from the council, land would go to a communal property association made up of 150 residents from the settlement. All families involved received individual title. Houses were constructed by 2002 (by Community Construction Management teams over a two-year period) and shallow sewer infrastructure (the first in South Africa’s SDI projects) and narrow roads installed in 2003/4, with help from city engineers. Subsidies were to be paid out collectively by the Provincial Government to the communal property association yet new community leadership rejected this and subsidies were returned to the Province – halting project progress.
Activity involved interaction with the local authority of Durban Metro Wastewater Services and various other stakeholders including the Department of Housing, Environmental Health, and Metro Housing. After the project started male dominated leadership took over from women’s savings collectives, reversing the progress made by the women. The project thus affirmed the capacity for innovation and accountability in these savings collectives. Gcinulwazi and its housing project is an example of the failure of formally driven, top-down housing solutions as the male dominated demands focused on state intervention which was anti-poor and unsustainable. Positive impacts include steps being taken towards more environmentally sustainable water and sanitation technologies and some job creation and skills transfer in the community. Challenges for project success include the community leadership’s rejection of subsidies based on communal land titles, which meant subsidies were returned to Government. This was prompted by the predominantly male leadership's rejection of communal ownership, discussed above.Location: Gcinulwazi, Durban, South Africa
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Project information updated: 15 May 2014
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