CITIES WITHOUT SLUMS
                  South Africa -- Information Brief

1.      Background

South Africa's history is one of dispossession, of exclusion, and of the forced relocation of large sections of
its population. Apartheid ideology made migrants of citizens within their own country. Housing was seen not
as a basic human need and right, but as an element of control within a policy which placed racial separation
above the viability of communities within the towns and cities and on land. By the time of the democratic
elections in 1994, housing provision and access had become increasingly fragmented. For the farm workers
and rural communities, there was never any concern that they should have adequate housing with services.
For the urban people, housing development stopped three decades before April 1994, and for others access to
housing became a privilege associated with attempts to buy support for the tri-cameral system of the
apartheid government. The result was a widely divergent set of standards in the country, and an extremely
uneven pattern of housing delivery. For the vast majority the option lay in the erection of squatter cities made
of mud, plastic, and corrugated iron sheets. For the homeless, the squatting movement was a victory in the
struggle for survival. And all over the country, even after eight years of democratically elected government
and perhaps one of the most elaborate housing programme in the continent, there are vast settlements that do
not have adequate services nor security of tenure for the squatters. These include Khayelitsha, Guguletu and
others in the Western Cape, actually in Cape Town, Besters Camp in Durban, Duncan Village in Eastern
Cape, Alexandra in Johannesburg, just to name a few.

2.      Development Trends to Address the Situation of Squatter Settlements - Slum Upgrading

After the elections in 1994, the new Government promised in accordance with the Reconstruction and
Development Programme to build 1 million houses within five years. An elaborate housing delivery
programme was prepared with the objective of creating housing opportunities through a housing subsidy
scheme that would work with the private sector and the people to increase access to housing. To date and in
the assessment provided by the Ministry of Housing, many opportunities have been created and the 1 million
houses have been delivered. The Department of Housing has prepared the National Housing Code that for
the first time examines housing holistically and outlines the various government interventions. It recognizes
the role people play, especially the poor, in addressing their own housing problems. There are numerous
efforts to address the squatter settlements going back to apartheid days such as the Serviced Land Project in
the Western Cape and others throughout the country supported by NGOs. The Presidential Lead Projects
started by the new Government addressed mainly the improvement of service delivery to the people in
squatter settlements. Current efforts include the upgrading proposal for Alexandra as part of the iGoli 2010
and the Cities Alliance. There has been a great movement of the homeless people in South Africa, the
majority of whom are in the squatter settlements, to improve their housing conditions. This is backed up by
NGOs such as the People's Dialogue on Land and Shelter, the Urban Services Network and directly
supported by Government through the People's Housing Process as part of the National Housing Programme.

3.      Potentialities for Scaling up Slum Upgrading with the Sub-Regional Programme

The Government is committed to facilitate access to adequate shelter to all the people of South Africa. The
National Housing Programme has in detail outlined the approach and explicitly stated that this will be
achieved through the involvement of all stakeholders. Through the People's Housing Processes in the country
almost all slum dwellers have been impacted on in one way or another. The Launch of the Campaign for
Secure Tenure in Durban in October 2000, organized by the South Africa Homeless People's Federation,
attended by government, and witnessed by the international development community, confirms the
commitment at all levels to address the situation of slums.

The Constitution of South Africa gives the responsibility of housing to the local governments. This means
that the planning and implementation of schemes can be executed locally. The emerging developmental local
government system through the Integrated Development Plans and the new Municipal Services Bill provides
the right and timely condition to exploit the government commitment to facilitate access to housing and the
peoples' efforts to better their living conditions. There has also been a great donor community interest in
supporting Government effort to improve living conditions.

Scaling up slum upgrading can not happen without a clear land policy. The Department of Land Affairs and
the government as a whole has set up mechanisms at national and local levels to address the land issue and
specifically to ensure that the right to housing is not compromised because of the lack of land. The
Development Facilitation Act deals with this matter. The community level activities are perhaps the greatest
asset that can be exploited in scaling up slum upgrading.

4.      Prospects for Programme Intervention and Funding

A logical programme of activity in South Africa would be to support the development of national land policy
and concurrently, urban upgrading in select cities. The latter may serve as an opportunity to implement the
former. The development of a national land policy tied in this way to upgrading would necessarily entail a
commitment at the highest levels of government to coordinate relevant agencies, including: Department of
Land Affairs, Ministry of Housing, and the Department of Constitutional Affairs overseeing decentralization.

Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth are possible cities in South Africa for intensive urban upgrading.
Durban is the site of the launch of the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure and the follow-up, Cities
Alliance-financed Project on Slum Upgrading Framework (India, Philippines and South Africa). The Project
offers an excellent foundation for citywide slum upgrading. It supports the documentation by local actors of
their existing local government/slum dweller partnerships, social mobilization strategies, and financing of
slum upgrading. It also supports efforts to translate the documents into models and city action plans, as well
as to revitalize working relationship between the Council and the South African Homeless People's
Federation (SAHPF). Local actors in Durban can draw upon and contribute to the efforts of their
counterparts in India and the Philippines as part of the Project.

Other starting points are Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. The Cities Alliance is presently supporting a
World Bank initiative in to advance city development strategies in Johannesburg building off of the
experience of an upgrading project in Alexandria. Johannesburg is one of the seven cities of the Water for
African Cities Programme. The Programme has been successful in building capacity in the municipal water
sector (demand and supply). The Urban Management Programme offers additional human and financial
resources for urban upgrading in Johannesburg. In Port Elizabeth the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metro
Municipality and relevant councilors and civil servants have expressed interest in participating with Durban
in the CA Project on Slum Upgrading Frameworks as has the SAHPF. The Safer Cities Programme, also
active in Port Elizabeth, could add further support to urban upgrading in the municipality.

5. Budget

Facilitation of Development of National Land Policy                      US$ 20,000
Upgrading Assessment, Consensus Building and Preparation                 US$ 10,000
Preparation of City Action Plans (monies in addition to CA Project)      US$ 10,000
US$ 40,000

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