Monday 23 February 2004, Sports Administration, Univeristy of the
Principal Researchers: Dr Marie Huchzermeyer, Dr. Aly Karam, Mzwanele Mayekiso
Principal researchers on the NRF project: Dr Marie Huchzermeyer, Dr Aly Karam
Master students (University of the Witwatersrand): Ramabele Maltala, Rodger Wimpey, Zwelibanzi Majola, Shriley Manzili, Jonathan Lepotho, John Nkuna, George Onatu, Ephraim Nemaonzeni, Thabani Mncwango, Sierajodean Frazenburg, Rudzani Mabaso.
PhD students (University of the Witwatersrand): Alfred Omenya, Salah Mohamed, Georgine Peter.
Civil Society: Becky Himlin (Planact); Joel Bolnick (CO-URC/Slum Dwellers International); Max Rambau (People?s Dialogue); M. Rataemane and Alfred Gabuza (Homeless People?s Federation); Hector Mzimulu and Sylvia Ngwenya (Landless People?s Movement).
Government: Themba Masimini (Department of Housing), Yolanda Philip (Gauteng Province Department of Housing),
South African researchers: Carien Engelbrecht (Cities Alliance), Cecile Ambert and Lauren Royston (Development Works), Theunis Roux and Stuart Wilson (Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand)
International researchers: Dr. Alain Durand-Lasserve (Senior Researcher, CNRS, France), Professor Seth Asiama (Director, Institute of Land Management and Development, Kwame Nkurmah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana); Professor J. Kironde (University College of Lands and Agricultural Studies (UCLAS), Dar es Sal m, Tanzania), Dr Clement Leduka (Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, National University of Lesotho), Professor Carole Rakodi (International Development Department, University of Birmingham, UK)
An initial paper was presented by the NRF research team ? see: ?Informal Settlement Policy:
Slums and informal settlements in
The slum challenge in
There is government opposition to these ?informal settlements? or ?slums?, not only in terms of density and health, but also crime. While there is solidarity within the settlement, crime committed elsewhere is often traced back to the slums. This seems to be the biggest problem in
Multi-lateral agencies have a role to play in improving the physical conditions. The World Bank has expressed interest in settlement upgrading.
Eviction threats in
Upgrading challenges for Dzungu settlement,
Ndzungu is a large ?informal settlement? in
Slum upgrading leading to displacement:
1984-86, the World Bank funded an upgrading project in the city next to Nima. This involved water and electricity. The project was never evaluated, but it is believed that the original inhabitants moved out, as the land value had increased. The project was intended as a pilot project, to be replicated. However, the know-how has been scattered, and the funding was not replicable (the project was very expensive).
In conclusion, the issue in
Land tenure context in Lesotho:
There is no system of freehold, instead there are leaseholds. Someone is likely to claim ownership of land, even if this is not legal. There have been sites and services and upgrading programmes in Lesotho.
Who shapes urban space?
See Mariken V ?s book :Associational Life in African Cities. This focuses on a benign civil society. But nothing is said about the ?uncivil? civil society, which is also organising the urban space.
Policy on informal settlements in Lesotho:
The appears to be no explicit state policy addressing informal settlements in Lesotho. Implicitly, policy is tolerant/ambivalent. Currently, there is a moratorium on informal subdivisions.
1980s sites and services and slum upgrading:
Around 1984, under the influence of the World Bank, Lesotho experienced an ?era of sites and services and upgrading?. The World Bank earmarked two areas for sites and services, and developed vacant stands and stands with core houses, and other areas for upgrading. Roads and improved pit latrines were provided and material loans were made available for self-help housing construction.
Evaluation and outcomes of the upgrading initiatives:
The upgrading projects were based on full cost recovery, and with the intention that these areas would become part of the rates base. However, not a cent has been recovered, and the city councils have not collected any rates. Evaluations have concluded that the poor cost recovery is partly because the intervention was top down, with no participation. Politically, it was impossible to enforce new payments, as people already lived there before. As a result, the World Bank decided to close shop. The Maseru City Council continued with some of the work, but this was limited by political misunderstandings in the council. Note that unlike South Africa, Lesotho does not have a tradition of NGOs and CBOs that may drive informal settlement upgrading.
Resulting land management in Lesotho:
Along with the sites and services and slum upgrading initiatives, two significant institutions were created and have endured to date:
-a land law that still cannot be implemented;
-a city council that still is not effective.
As a result, informal land development procedures have emerged on customary holdings. Government seems to have no answer to this process. Some settlements have been demolished subsequently to make way for industrial or residential projects. As a result, many cases are in the court.
In the first upgrading project, plots were large, but people were encouraged to subdivide to achieve higher densities. Leasehold tenure was offered as incentive to subsidise large plots. However, leaseholds were not successful as an incentive for subdivision. Instead, densities increased through the construction of rental rooms on the plots. The infrastructure attracted people, or created the demand. What were originally core houses in site-and-service areas are now extremely dense areas. 80-90% of the original core structures have been replaced. However, the original leaseholders were not permitted to make any changes to the houses until the loan payments had been completed.
Scale of informal settlements in
50-80% of urban dwellers in
The range of informal settlements in
The experiences with World Bank intervention:
World Bank funded informal settlement upgrading was not a success in
Experience with informal settlement removals:
Removals were planned from flood-prone land, but as demolition was happening, people rebuilt their houses. The residents? argument is that floods only occur every five years, and in the meantime they need to carry on with their lives.
The Tanzanian government?s approach to informal settlements:
People have obtained the land from someone claiming to own it. In general, the issue is access to land, not housing as such. If given land, the feeling is that people will do the rest. The right to housing, and the right to locality, have led the Tanzanian government to take a pragmatic approach. There is no demolition, but also not much intervention. The assumption is one might be able to improve at a later stage.
In 1999 a new Land Act was developed, introducing a six year renewable residential licence as a form of tenure. However, this has not been put into action yet.
The experience of housing finance in
Government has a land provision scheme, which is supposed to deliver titles. However, people are not interested in formal titles, and government argues it does not have the space to store the titles/
A new role of civil society:
In the 1980s, civil society organisations proliferated (unlike
The search for appropriate development standards:
Currently the 1956 Town Planning Ordinance is being reviewed. The attempt is to include flexible standards. There are examples of civil society taking the lead in defining standards. In the Makongo Area in 1992, people submitted their own proposal for development. This has not been approved to date, but others have been approved. Flexible standards are necessary, in order to get informal settlements officially recognised.
Theunis Roux: The central premise of the liberal approach of titling land appears to be wrong. It appears that the poor have an aversion to titles.
Carole Rakodi: It is not so much an aversion to titles, but the fact that people don?t need titles for security of tenure, and the poor don?t want to mortgage their assets. They don?t see their investments as a commodity. The critique of Hernando
Salah Mohamed: In
2.1 An international comparisons on informal settlement intervention approaches ? Dr Alain Durand-Lasserve (France)
Gasping the causes of informal settlements:
Informal settlements are a result of unequal distribution of wealth. By addressing informal settlements, we?re dealing only with the symptom. Our capacity to have an impact is limited as long as they reason for informal settlements remains. The realistic, tough cynical) view is that ?cities need slums? [see article by Baba Mumtaz in Habitat Debate].
The role of international comparisions:
There is a need for international comparisons, but the method has to be discussed. Case studies and monographs are essential, but are not sufficient for understanding the trends. One needs international comparisons:
1.To identify basic mechanisms in formation of informal settlements, the major shifts and trends. This requires national/city case studies, identifying what is structural and what is specific.
2.To learn what works for others.
However, there is a need to be sceptical of the notion of good practice. One needs to contextualise the notion of good/best practice. One needs to ask:
-good for who?
The best practice database is useless and misleading, it can in fact be dangerous.
In international comparisons, one needs to be prudent with transferability.
What global trends have been identified in the last two decades?
What are the positive trends?
How do we assess the situation?
There is a need to assess the situation at global level. There is a need for better information, to understand the dynamics and trends, rather than accurate figures. There is an urgency. One should not waste time setting up a methodology to gather accurate figures. But we do need figures, and we need to agree on common definitions and concepts:
-security of tenure
There is a need for monitoring, the need for indicators, so that one can understand changes and shifts. But one should not spend years designing sophisticated methodologies. We know we now have 900 million people living in slums globally. If nothing happens, its predicted that there will be 1.5 billion people living in slums 15 years from now.
What are the key issues?
1)Tenure ? note:
2)Local government and social organisations in government ? what relationships between people living in informal settlements and government institutions?
An international comparison makes identification of innovative responses possible, e.g.
-improving conditions in existing informal settlements;
-how to prevent formation of new slums/informal settlements (remember the figures of 1.5 billion people living in informal settlements in 15 years).
The task force of the Millenium Development Goal to improve lives of slum dwellers:
Alain Durand-Lasserve and Joel Bolnick are on a group of the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) Task Force on slum dwellers. The objective set by the MDG is to improve the lives of slum dwellers only in existing slums. What about the increase in the next 15 years? There is not task force for this issue, only the task.
The task force on improving the lives of existing slum dwellers is promoting three sets of issues:
-new partnerships involving formal actors and informal actors;
The task forces has limited room for manoeuvre. On cannot expect any major technical innovation, expect perhaps in the area of finance (see for instance innovative techniques in micro-finance). Instead, it is more efficient to look at new ways of using existing tools. We need a society with new forms of social organisation, we need new forms of partnership.
The challenge of pluralism:
How does one promote innovation? There is a role for networks, etc. But the main challenge is how to deal with cultural diversity. Most countries in the South inherited planning systems from the north. Most planners are trained in the North. The cultural model or reference is from the North. This makes it difficult to deal with cultural diversity ? even within the UN, although this is a culturally diverse institution. There is a need for legal pluralism.
The concept of ?promising approaches?:
Informal settlements exist also because of inadequate formal land and housing approaches. One can identify some ?promising approaches?. A ?promising approach? is not a lesson. One needs to be careful in assuming transferability.
Regularisation is about transferring legal occupancy, not titles. We should not be concerned about orderly development (the obsession of planners and architects). We should be starting with the people, their livelihoods. Once there is security of tenure, people will build incrementally. Many will not want to take loans, but if loans are offered by the state, people assume they can exercise their political pressure and get around repayment.
Two examples are relevant:
Individualisation of titles encourages a market. This has been countered by community titling, e.g. in
The relocation experience:
Relocations very rarely work. But there has to be ?replotting? or ?relocation? where there is direct danger. The principle needs to be minimum disruption.
After tenure security, incremental improvement of infrastructure is people?s priority. There are two issues linked to incremental infrastructure improvement:
-It is more expensive than servicing new land;
-It can increase demand and lead to gentrification.
One needs to talk about incremental investment, not blue print planning. Gentrification can be prevented if areas are not made attractive to higher income people.
Cost recovery is in principle desirable, but people are poor. There is recent work on subsidies, arguing they need to be designed appropriately. The subsidy has to be balanced between capital cost and maintenance cost, and this balance has to be context specific.
With tenure security and incremental improvement, house improvement can happen without a separate housing finance.
There is a need for responsive collaborative planning and implementation. This implies a flexible approach. It implies decentralisation, intersectoral collaboration, acknowledging a role for actors.
There is the danger of not integrating upgraded informal settlements with the city. In
There is a need for capacity building for communities. This is an important role for NGOs.
The argument that communities should be involved in self-help housing needs to be questioned. ?Free labour? undermines people?s livelihoods. One needs agencies that are capable of responding to articulated needs of the communities. This cannot be done through a blue print. One needs to start with what exists, not with an ideal view of what will be achieved.
Challenges when governments support community organisations:
Local community organisations have to be given a say, have to be supported. But in the Sri Lankan Million Houses Programme, when political control changed, the community councils were marginalised, as they were considered oppositional. In
Standards need to be adapted to informal settlements, and not vice versa. In
Limits of imposed solutions:
The challenge of communal services:
Some concluding remarks:
-Context is an important factor in assessing transferability.
-Don?t see informal settlements in isolation ? they?re part of the land and housing market.
-One needs to ask: what would be the content of a proactive and anticipatory policy?
-Large scale public provision of land has not been very successful in the past.
-Should one instead be guiding the process of land occupation?SESSION 3: CRITICAL VIEWS ON SOUTH AFRICA
How to achieve the correct state-society relationship?
State-society relations are a critical area in informal settlement intervention. It is very difficulty to get local government to do things differently. One needs to ask:
-What creates/informs government?s responses to informal settlements?
-What creates/informs the responses of informal settlement residents?
How does the state relate to informal settlements? The informal settlement residents are voters, but in
People in informal settlements are subject to different interests by different politicians, different parties, and different interests in government. Local government would like to keep the lid on (contain the informal settlement situation, zero tolerance). National government would like to make the problem go away, thinking it will be possible to control the situation. This is a long term objective.
The question of resources:
A policy has to be informed by an understanding of diverse livelihoods and resources, and how informal settlements are inserted into the cities.
What are the resources of the South African state?
-the resources are enormous (compared to many other countries);
-there is huge pressure on the state to deliver (more so than in other countries).
History of informal settlement governance and tenure in
In the early 1990s, there was ?landlord?/shack lord control in
Now informal settlements are run by the comrade movement (civics). Their land management approach is taken from rural areas. They check people out, before allowing them to settle in the settlement. People get ?floating? tenure that does not connect to a higher order system that can validate it (as compared to tenure in rural areas with ancient tribal rights). In urban areas the tenure is relatively insecure, as someone else owns the land, people?s have informal rights to occupy.
The comrades/civic movement involved moral enlightenment, democratic principles. Only once the shack lords were chased out, could communities negotiate for infrastructure. The problem is that government introduced new structures/organisations over the existing civic structure. The new structures are the elected councillors. In some areas this has resulted in a new desperate and violent conflict.
Informal settlements and criminality:
In relation to informal settlements, there are various routes to criminality:
What chances for government to contain/control informal settlements?
Under what conditions can informal settlements be controlled? In
In agreement with Alain Durand-Lasserve, Joel Bolnick believes that the only thing one can have confidence in is the uncertainties. Legal frameworks are important, but from his experiences, these are only levers. It will depend in who?s hands they are.
The role of statistics/data/enumerations
Rather than an issue of ethics, this is an issue of pragmatism. This applies to the issue of statistics. How have the poor used this instrument? See how data is used by the urban poor, as levers for change. Urban poor communities are counting/enumerating themselves. This data becomes an instrument for negotiation. But statistics are instruments of politics, they?re subjective. The state monopolises the gathering of information
Examples of enumerations:
An example from
Following on the presentation on
The Homeless People?s Federation is now enumerating the largest informal settlement in
The need for pro-poor platforms:
An important ingredient for change (in the approach towards informal settlements) is that governments are informed by a pro-poor platform. This can consist of professionals, academics, NGOs, communities. This can be effective, if all these people have as a starting point the perspective of the poor themselves.
Is there an emergence of a pro-poor platform in
Positives points of
3.3 Questions for an informal settlement policy in South Africa ? Lauren Royston (Development Works)
Where have we come from? What have we learnt from the standardised housing subsidy intervention? Where to now? Some answers lie in the international examples, and in what the poor do for themselves. What are the policy implications?
How does one make an informal settlement policy intersectoral? It needs to be a policy municipal planning, infrastructure and housing, not just a housing policy.
We need to understand what the preconditions are for particular policy emphases. What makes it possible for governments to accept the status quo? It is a complex reality with contextual nuances. How does one make the contextual richness relevant to policy makers? Their policy must enable local solutions that are locally defined. Their policies have to ensure capacity and resources at local government level.
Is there any potential for real decentralisation (of funding) in
Is policy the main determinant of what is done on the ground? If one unpacks this horizontally, one realises there is an interplay with state attitudes, professional attitudes, and the particular role of people, so-called ?beneficiaries?.
Informal settlements represent a policy failure. The consequence is political, economic and social unsustainability, and this will eventually bite everyone.
It is fashionable to ask ?who are the actors?? ? national governments, vs. communities, vs. cities (local government is the current flavour of the month).
The shifts have been from sites and services to comprehensive development to institutional infrastructure, including tenure. Shifts and variations create an ambivalence as to what is ?best practice?. Brazilian best practice is built on decentralisation and strong local government. It is not possible to take these models and apply them elsewhere. One needs to ask ?best by what criteria?? What are the bottom lines?
-There should be no denial of what the reality is;
-There should be political will to engage in a state-civil society relationship that allows community involvement ? but to what extent?
-Resources have to be dedicated. The problem is that these tend to be compartmentalised.
There will always be winners and losers in any upgrading programme. This creates dilemmas for community leaders and for the public sector.
The right to locality in
Is there a right to be housed where you are? The Grootboom judgement tends to offer an opportunity to try to make that argument. Housing policy must be reasonable, which means it must be comprehensive. The Grootboom judgement defined a class of people not catered for by housing policy.
One could argue that informal settlement dwellers in cities are not able to access formal housing at reasonable distance, and this defines them as a class of people not catered for by current policy.
The policy to evict and relocate people to the periphery prejudices access to livelihoods and social services. There is not choice as to whether formal housing is linked to their livelihoods.
Constitutionally there is no right to location, but there are constitutional limitations.
The typology of policy presented is extremely helpful. What is
The Thembelihle case:
At times the contextual reasons for attempting relocation are highly localised. In the case of Thembelihle, two reasons were given:
However, it was found that formal houses in the surrounding are more dolomitic, there therefore being no good reason to evict on grounds of imminent risk. The surrounding Lenasia has been providing access to social services, which translates into a tacit permission to occupy. The city seems to have decided it does not want to evict the people after all. This leads us to believe that the city?s Spatial Development Framework leaves space for local interests to be mobilised. Whether or not a particular informal settlement in
The need to acknowledge complexity:
The policy typology needs to bring out complexity, e.g. in
One also needs to develop a typology for civil society?s relationship with the state. During apartheid, this relationship was revolutionary and reformist at the same time.
The property clause in the constitution is not a useful basis on which to engage with local government. The question is how/where to engage the issue?
What role for law and lawyers?
At times they?re engaged by civil society to engage the state. The role of law is to alert the government to gaps in policy by telling real stories in the courts. Constitutional theory is to get a dialogue going between courts and the government. There needs to be an ongoing cycle of courts examining policies and government changing its policy. But there can be very long intervals in this dialogue. In the case of Grootboom, it took three years before policy was changed. Are the courts then an effective vehicle for policy change?
Does the right to housing represent a right to location?
In response to
Theunis Roux (CALS): COHRE (Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions) is currently tying to document the scale of recent/current evictions in
Philip Phosa (LPM): Recent evections/removals were from Mandelavilee to Sol Pl tjie (January 2002), and Bushkoppen to Vlakfontein. According to the LPM, there are 102 informal settlements in
Theunis Roux: Seven inner city buildings are also earmarked for eviction.
Joel Bolnick (CO-URC/SDI): Is any other strategy evolving in civil society other than litigation? Are people developing alternatives to be negotiated?
Theunis Roux: Often the decision to relocate and the actual relocation happen very quickly. But there is innovative inner city intervention, e.g. tenants undertook tasks that reduce the grounds for eviction (typically health risks).
Stuart Wilson (CALS): For Thembelihle, there has been a problem with factual inaccuracies in the Johannesburg City Council, especially re the imminent health risk.
Philip Phosa (LPM): The councillor did not follow procedures to evict people from Thembelihle. People were woken up by ?Red Ants? (security company employees). The relocation was not on a voluntary basis. Relocation should not require the involvement of security firms.
Other LPM member: The first removal from Thembelihle was to Poortjie, where there were no school and no transport. The councillor in that area was imposed on the people that were relocated. He knows nothing about them. The people that were relocated complained. As they were being removed, they rebuilt their shacks. Compare this with Waterworks. The people were living in a waterlogged area, and asked to be relocated, but government did nothing. Why are the people?s voices not heard?
Homeless People?s Federation (HPF) member: Is anything being done to stop these evictions?
LPM member: The LPM has tried to discuss with government. They met with the Minister of Land Affairs. She denied the issue of evictions, but promised to follow up. The LPM then saw her on TV saying ?the LMP say they want land ? they must go to rural areas and farm, what do they want land for??
Stuart Wilson: It appears that when evictions happen in
4.1 Informal settlements and national policy in South Africa ? Themba Masimini (Department of Housing)
In defence of SA Housing Policy:
Homelessness is just a symptom of a bigger problem. There are also other spheres of life ? health, employment, etc. Government formulated policies to address these matters. These problems did not start in 1994. They are the consequence of a long process. Government formulated a housing policy based on reality in
The emergence of new policy:
Government is learning by doing. In the past there has been no discussion about
For the first three, policies are now being developed. Emergency housing policy developed in response to Grootboom. Informal settlement policy is also being developed. The impression is given sometimes that government is not addressing the issues. But some are being addressed.
The City of
There is some need for clarity. The City of
But at local government level the City has been unsystematic in dealing with informal settlements. The City is getting a better understanding from the data it is generating. However, for
The City?s response to diversity:
In the City?s informal settlement strategy, there are criteria for selecting/prioritising informal settlements. Livelihoods and security of tenure are considered, and he City ensures that long term development happens in an area. The City understands that informal settlements are not just freestanding settlements. They are all areas not proclaimed as townships. This may be mean
There are 116 registered informal settlements in the City of
18 months ago, a City Development Framework was adopted, addressing some of the challenges.
Challenges for the City:
One difficulty for the City is that there are not unlimited resources for relocation. In every case the question is: Is it viable to upgrade? The temptation on the part of the City is to adopt zero tolerance to land invasion, due to the issue of queue jumping ? the queue jumping cannot be encouraged.
One would hope that a strong civil society movement can develop to work with the City. But there are no champions of the poor. The City needs them.
In which way should the City engage informal settlement communities in issues of resources distribution? Some of the challenges are
-characteristics of informal settlements
This all affects the degree of participation we can expect from informal settlement residents.
The City of
We need to reflect on why the voices of the poor are not year by government in
LPM member: Some informal settlements have existed for 10 years. The administration should have guided them. The problem is that they were ?offered? councillors that did not emanate from the informal settlements, they are party representatives.
It is LPM?s wish that informal settlements are upgraded where they are. The existence of informal settlements is a political failure and an embarrassment. LPM?s hope is that the right heads will be put together in the policy-making. LPM also argues that there is a need for urban agriculture.
Joel Bolnick (CO-URC/SDI): Latin American authorities are concerned about the limits of the participatory budgeting approach. It tends to perpetuate the power relations. The beneficiaries are extracting entitlements out of the state, as opposed to communities owning the problems and owning the solution. In
Alain Durand-Lasserve: There are direct market eviction processes. These present a new problem. The problem is not the difficulty to find good land for housing development, the problem is the price of the land. Market processes lead to eviction.
Stuart Wilson: It appears that the City of
LPM: Ten years of democracy is too long. In
Another LPM member: In Thembisa, people invaded land because they were so overcrowded. Vusani Security came and took the people?s belongings. To date, they did not get their belongings back. There is also an issue with [bank-]attached houses in
A further LPM member: Can there be an approach to work with dolomites, rather than relocate people living on dolomite to other areas?
Nkosana Dlodo (City of
In 1998, Nkosana Dlodlo was part of the process of formulating a development framework. In his experience, a geo-technical study was conducted independently. The report found that certain pockets had high dolomitic content. Light dolomite is treatable, but expensive to treat. The geotechnical report gave guidance whether or not to proceed. The city did consultations, but these were in the City Hall, which he admits is far away. They were mainly attended by the Indian community. Another problem was the changing leadership on the ground in Thembelihle over time. The City cannot be blamed for this. The reality is, the City is learning.
Themba Masimini (Department of Housing): These challenges are facing the nation as a whole. Johannesburg/Gauteng is the economic hub of the continent. It attracts a lot of people. Middle income housing is mushrooming. The backlog will always be there, until the economy of the continent is addressed. This is a reality we have to appreciate. Government is trying to purchase private land.SESSION 5: PERSPECTIVES FROM NGOs AND CBOs
The challenges of land delivery/access in South Africa:
Planact is working informal settlements (her colleague is attending a court case involving an informal settlement today). We need to address just how badly land access and the land delivery system in South Africa are working. Why are these mechanisms not working?
Development delays in Johannesburg:
In Johannesburg Planact is working with two communities that are waiting for land. The projects have full support from Council, and are not on privately owned land. But there are delays initiated by wealthy owners in the area. The reasons are race and class. The Jukskei Crocodile River Reidents Association are claiming that the new development (Cosmos City) is ?effectively destroying the rural character of the area, and have challenged the development through administrative challenges and in court. This has all resulted in 5 years of delay! The Zevenfontein people are earmarked for occupation of Cosmo City (the owner of the land they are currently occupying is not willing to consider long-term settlement by the residents, and instead wants to sell the land for other more lucrative purposes). The community currently only has chemical toilets and temporary water tanks. They have been promised access to land, but they?re still waiting.
The Muldersdrift Housing Trust bought its own land, but it can?t get township establishment, due to resistance of rich landowners in the area.
The challenge of political patronage:
There are also complexities with building capacity within communities. There are issues of leadership, legitimacy, exclusion if leaders are not fully representative. One should not be na? about consultation. There are intricate political relationships within communities, and (sometimes) patronage relationships with people in Council. Livelihoods are exchanged for political support. Such resources corrupt people. Within the Public Works Programme, there is livelihood support. But these are (in some cases) allocated as political favours, a form of social/political currency. One needs to ask: who benefits, who doesn?t?
In Randfontein Municipality there are community-based maintenance programmes (e.g refuse collection where local government is not able to deliver the service). However, the issue of political patronage and gender inequity is present in the decisions as to who gets appointed. And women get to do the sweeping, whereas men do the refuse sorting. This means they can collect recyclables and sell them on the side. This adds to their income.
There is a very complex supply relationship for people living and having their livelihood on a rubbish dump. Companies come to collect the recyclables. For many people this is a crucial livelihood source, but there are health hazards but no health services. How does one structure these kinds of opportunities to make sure they are just/fair for all?
Experience with livelihoods and the PHP:
Planact is involved with the People?s Housing Process. They have managed to use the top-up subsidy of the PHP to empower people. But in that particular community strong leadership existed. The leadership in consultation with the community decided that it was not viable for all subsidy beneficiaries in that community to sacrifice their time to build their own houses because they needed their time for their livelihood. However, quite a few were unemployed. They were trained, their capacity built, they got paid. They were empowered economically and out of the experience. The Gauteng Province did not like the way Planact went about this. The Province was trying to prescribe, e.g. how much of the subsidy could be paid for labour. Instead, policy has to be flexible.
Problems in the relationship between the poor and government:
In HPF experience, government runs away after its input. Government does not want to hear the poor. Government wants to do its own policy, does not want to hear what the people suggest. Government does not want to support the people. Instead it is building the professionals and other stakeholders. Its not interested in the poor.
The relationship between HPF and
The Homeless People?s Federation is having serious problems with the City of
Government ambiguity and lack of transparency on land:
Gauteng Provincial government was owning 13% of the land. There is no transparency, the Province is not saying which land it owns. Its similar with the geo-technical statistics on land. Government does not come and tell the poor about the statistics. They just come to the poor and say its dangerous to live here. No evidence is given.
There is an issue with land. In Alberton [Ekhuruleni Metro] people clubbed together and bought land, but government delayed in supporting this. Government calls its development ?people?s development?, but when people do own the development (as in the Alberton case), government calls it ?private development?.
Those that are on land formally are facing problems. If you don?t pay for your services, you get a warning, and they evict you. That is why people go to informal settlements.
The role of informal settlements within HPF:
As an organisation of housing savings schemes, HPF can look at informal settlements from a different way. To them, informal settlements are areas where people can learn for their future and their children. People choose where they want to live, they chose where they live now.
Problems experienced with relocations:
Lets look at government policy for housing: With relocation, they put you far away, somewhere where you have no relatives. It?s a one-roomed house. This house is nothing to you, its as if they gave you nothing.
Government is very clever. It builds houses very far from town, so the poor can?t get to the city. The services cost R500-700. The poor can?t afford that.
Limitations of government?s PHP:
There is no real PHP. People should be at the centre of development. SAHPF and other homeless people?s organisations are the masters of PHP. Pinki Vilakazi came and copied our system, and then called it the government?s system. If government can work hand-in-hand with us, we won?t bark at government. Government is full of delaying tactics, of bubblegum promises.
Joel Bolnick: Its important that we test communities to the same extent that we test government. To what extent have communities maximised possibilities with local government? There are vertical and horizontal issues. On the contextual differences, its important to note that there are less differences between informal settlements in
On the other hand, the voice of the people must be heard, as government thinks it can speak for the people.
Project team: It was agreed that this dialogue must continue, and that we would have another formal workshop in November.