Current projects and initiatives
Collective book projects
Four international edited book projects currently underway within CUBES, each building and reflecting on collective projects within CUBES are on the themes of
- housing and urban governance in Africa,
- the peripheries of African cities,
- practices of the state in urban governance and
- the disruption of global norms through everyday practices.
Support to representative structures in shack settlements
CUBES provides technical advice to on an ongoing basis to two shack settlements in pursuit of incremental, in situ upgrading or development. One is Harry Gwala, located within Wattville near Benoni in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. The other is Slovo Park to the south of Eldorado Park in Soweto, within the City of Johannesburg. This ongoing engagement provides insight into the limits of the statutory tools and instruments for ‘upgrading of informal settlements’, the shortcomings in institutional and intergovernmental arrangements, and the outsourcing arrangements. On a yearly basis, a ‘student-stakeholder engagement on informal settlement upgrading has brought community leadership, NGOs and officials from key departments and agencies together to update, reflect and debate on progress on and obstacles to participatory, incremental informal settlement upgrading as indented by policy.
SERI held a webinar on 30 July 2020 reflecting on the Slovo Park informal settlement upgrading process. Neil Klug and Marie Huchzermeyer who have long been involved in this process participated alongside Nomzamo Zondo from SERI, Lerato Marole from the community forum, and Jacquie Culyer from 1to1.
Neil Klug and Marie Huchzermeyer presented in the Faces of the City Seminar series in 2022. The seminar presentation titled ‘Upgrading of Informal Settlements in South Africa: Policy, Policy Engagements, Divergence and Failed Efforts at Unblocking Implementation’.
Marie Huchzermeyer presented a reflection on ‘understanding the state from below’ about Harry Gwala and Slovo Park in 2020 in the CPR-CHS Seminar Series of the Centre for Policy Research in India.