Insights are featured pieces of research

that explain key topics in greater detail.

The complexities and challenges of the housing waiting list

Isandla Institute | 2023-12-05 | 444 views

A housing waiting list serves a valuable role in mediating supply and demand of housing. However, in South Africa where demand far outstrips supply and corruption and patronage have undermined the housing allocation process, the housing waiting list is a complex and contentious issue. Instead of offering a housing solution in the short- to medium term to all in need, it caters – at best – to long-term aspirations of subsidized housing. Yet, the promise of ‘houses for all’ has led to a deep-seated expectation and growing frustration at the lack of fulfilment of this promise. In [Khayelitsha](https://www.groundup.org.za/article/backyarders-demolish-shacks-in-mandela-park-cape-town/), tensions between backyard residents and land occupiers have ...


Are metros reflecting the reality on the ground in their public documents?

Isandla Institute | 2023-10-12 | 615 views

The Planning for Informality web tool has recently been updated, drawing on a review of publicly available 2023/2024 municipal documentation for South Africa's eight metropolitan municipalities (metros). The tool, initiated in August 2017, serves to monitor the responses of South African metropolitan municipalities to informal settlements and backyard housing, based on reporting and policy commitments found in core annual municipal documents. A better understanding of informality in South African metros allows for better decision-making and analysis, and comprehensive informal upgrading strategies and plans are important elements in achieving upgrading targets. Furthermore, the tool also promotes transparency and accountability by opening up...


The state responses required to enable and support the backyard housing sector

Isandla Institute | 2023-09-06 | 457 views

Backyard housing has long formed part of the landscape of South African communities. It is a community-driven response to housing shortages for many who fall through the cracks of state programming and unaffordable private rentals. More than 1 in 7 urban households live in backyard housing, and [research](https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epub/10.1177/0956247819895958) suggests that backyard housing has been growing faster than informal settlements. However, it remains a neglected and sometimes invisible sector. While some municipalities have taken welcome steps in developing policies or programmes to enable and support the backyard housing sector, these are still piecemeal and not part of a coherent strategy or guided by national policy....


Where’s the consultation and evidence for new cities?

Isandla Institute | 2023-06-21 | 563 views

Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi [announced](https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/south-africa-needs-to-create-new-cities-to-address-overpopulation-kubayi/) on the sidelines of the recent UN Habitat Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya that South Africa needs to create new cities, as “the country can not continue to rely on the current cities which are overpopulated” and “has to grow better”. The Minister stated that new cities will reduce migration to provinces such as Gauteng, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal, by people in search of better socio-economic opportunities. Minister Kubayi elaborated that talks are currently underway to test the feasibility of the plan, and that the National Department of Human Settlements “will make an announceme...


The gap in the gap: Why affordable housing income thresholds result in de facto exclusion of lower income earners

Isandla Institute | 2023-06-14 | 508 views

There is currently a housing shortage of approximately [3.7 million](https://housingfinanceafrica.org/app/uploads/2021/11/2021_CAHF-yearbook-final-compressed-1.pdf), which is estimated to be growing at 178 000 annually. It is broadly accepted that state-subsidised housing programmes are not able to keep up with the growing housing shortage, while private sector housing development mostly does not cater for the majority of lower-income households. Additionally, publicly-enabled housing programmes/support (e.g. social housing, affordable housing) also leave key populations out, either because they do not meet the eligibility criteria, or because the eligibility criteria are interpreted in ways that result in de facto exclusion (for example, t...


What the 2023/2024 Human Settlements Budget Vote Speech didn’t say

Isandla Institute | 2023-05-22 | 389 views

On 10 May 2023 the Minister for Human Settlements delivered the [Budget Speech](https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-human-settlements-hon-mmamoloko-kubayi-mp-parliament-republic-south-africa-cape) for the 2023/2024 financial year. The significance of this date is that it was also the 29th anniversary of the inaugural address by former President Nelson Mandela which, as the Minister highlighted, serves as a significant reminder of how much still needs to be done to achieve the promise of [adequate and dignified] ‘houses for all’. In seeking to position the sector as the ‘primary instrument for creating a better life for all’, as stated by the Minister, we were expecting a sober assessment of the human settlements sector and the broader s...


The title deed backlog, access to finance and what this means for those wanting to self-build

Isandla Institute | 2023-05-10 | 593 views

Self-build housing is evident at a large scale across South African cities, from higher to lower income areas. In lower income areas this mostly takes the form of backyard dwellings, while there is a growing trend of blocks of up to 8 or 12 small-scale rental units in the backyards of an existing property or on an erf where the main house has been demolished. Ensuring that this housing is of good quality means enabling more investment by owners in their properties. A title deed is important to prove ownership of a property when one wants to access housing finance. It provides a citizen with secure tenure, a leverageable asset, household wealth and economic inclusion, and allows a municipality to assert citizen administrative visibility by...


Reflecting on the implications of the Draft Water and Sanitation Policy on Privately Owned Land (2022)

Isandla Institute | 2023-03-22 | 593 views

Access to water in South Africa is characterised by a number of anomalies. For example, while some parts of South Africa like Nelson Mandela Bay continue to battle conditions of drought, other areas in Mpumalanga and North West provinces are battling the severe consequences of [flooding](https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2023-02-20-sa-weather-service-issues-alerts-as-government-responds-to-flood-chaos-across-the-country/). In the City of Johannesburg the anomaly is that while there is an ample supply of water, failing infrastructure has placed access to that supply at risk. It gives literal meaning to the famous and often paraphrased quote of [‘water, water everywhere and no[t] a drop to drink.' As touched on in the [previous blogpo...


A national state of disaster beyond energy?

Isandla Institute | 2023-02-09 | 1001 views

After a record number of 207 load shedding days in 2022, today’s State of the Nation Address will undoubtedly be dominated by the energy crisis. Our economy is still recovering from the devastating impact of Covid-19 and having a reliable and stable power supply is critical for industry, public services, communities and households. At a household level these are difficult economic times, with high levels of unemployment (33% according to conservative estimates), the South African Reserve Bank’s recent increase of the [repo rate](https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/economy/sa-reserve-bank-hikes-repo-rate-to-725-d5306541-8a4c-4003-8ccb-290b43a1f59f) to 7.25% and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approval of Eskom’s intend...


Are metros really planning for informality?

Isandla Institute | 2022-11-18 | 790 views

The Planning for Informality web tool has recently been updated based on publicly available 2021/2022 municipal documentation for the eight metropolitan municipalities (metros) in South Africa. The tool, launched in August 2017, tracks South African metropolitan municipalities in their response to informal settlements and backyard housing, based on reporting and policy commitments in core annual municipal documentation. A better understanding of informality in South African metros allows for better decision-making and analysis, and comprehensive informal upgrading strategies and plans are important elements in achieving upgrading targets. The tool also opens up data on municipal upgrading plans and strategies to a wider audience to strengthe...


Leveraging the hidden potential of backyard housing in the context of increasing tenure insecurity

Isandla Institute | 2022-11-17 | 751 views

At the national roundtable on informal backyard housing recently hosted by Isandla Institute, a human settlements practitioner estimated that ‘backyard housing currently provides more housing opportunities than municipal and provincial housing programmes combined’. While this, at first blush, may sound like an overstatement, statistics do in fact support this assertion. More than 1 in 7 urban households live in backyard housing, and [research](https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epub/10.1177/0956247819895958) suggests that growth in backyard housing outpaces the growth in informal settlements. Historically, backyard housing emerged as a necessary form of community-driven ‘self-help’ for many vulnerable households who are unable to access hou...


What does the recently adopted Expropriation Bill mean for human settlements?

Isandla Institute | 2022-10-04 | 852 views

The Expropriation Bill was adopted by the National Assembly on 28 September 2022, South Africa’s third attempt since 2008 to replace apartheid legislation still in force. The adopted bill, first tabled in 2020, allows expropriation only for “public purpose” and in the “public interest”, as stipulated in section 25 of the Constitution, also known as the property clause. Now, apart from “just and equitable compensation”, it opens the possibility for expropriation without compensation to be considered in specified instances, such as abandoned land, state land or land held for speculative purposes. Despite the acknowledged challenges and failures of the state’s land reform programme to date, it is useful to think through what this bill means ...


Enabling the Right to Build through Housing Support Centres in informal settlement upgrading and the development of backyard rental accommodation

Isandla Institute | 2022-09-07 | 556 views

For many people living in South African towns and cities, access to public housing or affordable rental housing is limited. They end up living in informal settlements and informal backyard dwellings. Amid the housing shortage and budget constraints, government is shifting focus to providing serviced sites. But what about housing? There is an opportunity for the right to build, and self-build, to be enabled. In 2019, civil society organisations involved in informal settlement upgrading, through a [collaborative submission](https://isandla.org.za/en/resources/item/download/123_c33032f133ac04f527aaabb1b3fac2cf), called on government to support the right to build. The right to build refers to allowing people to build their own homes, with the...


Providing services to undocumented foreign migrants in informal settlements

Isandla Institute | 2022-08-17 | 731 views

The gang rape of eight women in Krugersdorp last month has once again turned the spotlight on African foreign migrants in South Africa. Following the horrific incident, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has been cracking down on illegal miners, known as zama zamas, who were believed to be the attackers. Residents of the West Rand also took matters into their own hands, setting several homes alight and raiding mine shafts and houses in search of illegal miners. The vigilantism resembled the attacks against foreign nationals and their businesses in May 2008, when an estimated 62 people were killed and scores injured in Johannesburg in one of the country’s worst xenophobic attacks. Since then, intimidation of and attacks on African for...


Urban Safety and Gender in South African Cities: We need investment in prevention not just reactive approaches

Isandla Institute | 2022-06-01 | 1004 views

Crime and violence, particularly gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), is an epidemic in South Africa. Between October – December 2021, [11 315 rape cases were reported](https://www.newframe.com/talking-about-gender-based-violence-is-not-enough/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20crime%20statistics,to%20123%20cases%20a%20day), an average of 123 cases per day. It is a well-known fact that the majority of sexual assaults go unreported. Current approaches to addressing the issue of crime and violence have predominantly been reactive and often focus on increasing security/policing in areas of need after major incidents have occurred. However, this does not address the root causes that lead to these incidents, nor do they address the underlying ...


Finding legal certainty: Backyard housing and access to services on private land, a case of two steps forward and three steps back?

Isandla Institute | 2022-05-13 | 837 views

‘Khayelitsha shacks to be electrified at last - Families were wrongly classified as backyarders, says Eskom’ – this is the title of a [recent article](https://www.groundup.org.za/article/khayelitsha-shacks-be-electrified-last/) in GroundUp and represents a typical example of the confusion often associated with the status of backyard housing. In sum, the article explains that Eskom failed to include ‘dozens of Khayelitsha shack dwellers’ in its electrification programme, because they incorrectly assumed that they were ‘classified as backyarders.’ After being excluded from the programme since 2017 the residents ‘will finally receive electricity this year [2022].’ While we are pleased that these Khayelitsha residents will soon be able to acces...


Gender and safety in informal settlements

Isandla Institute | 2022-04-05 | 887 views

In 27 September 2021, three young women were shot and killed in TT Block informal settlement in Khayelitsha and their bodies were discovered in a passage between shacks. This is but one of many cases of violence and crime against women and children in informal settlements that are reported in the media. Using Covid-19 related terminology, it has in fact been dubbed the ‘second’ or ‘shadow’ pandemic facing South Africa [1]. Furthermore, despite being one of the first countries to provide constitutional protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, crimes committed against members of the LGBTQI+ community continue to take place. On 21 March, South Africans celebrated Human Rights Day, a historic day in our relatively new d...


The 2022/2023 budget and its relevance to human settlements

Isandla Institute | 2022-03-10 | 1016 views

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana tabled the 2022/2023 budget on 23 February 2022. What implications does the 2022/2023 budget have for human settlements, and informal settlements and backyard housing in particular? The allocations to human settlements, specifically the conditional grants to provinces and municipalities, including the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG), Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG), and Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) appear to have only included inflation-related increases over previous budget allocations, as they are on average around 6% higher. While R398mn has been added to the HSDG specifically to rehabilitate houses affected by natural disasters in KwaZulu-Natal [1]; an...


The usefulness of the Planning for Informality webtool amid the recent shift in human settlements policy from a focus on greenfield development to informal settlement upgrading

Isandla Institute | 2022-02-09 | 859 views

The Planning for Informality webtool has recently been updated based on publicly available 2020/2021 municipal documentation. The webtool, launched in August 2017, tracks the progress of South African metropolitan municipalities in their response to informal settlements and backyard housing, based on reporting and policy commitments in core annual municipal documentation. A better understanding of informality in South African metros allows for better decision-making and analysis, and comprehensive informal upgrading strategies and plans are important elements in achieving upgrading targets. The webtool also opens up data on municipal upgrading plans and strategies to a wider audience to strengthen transparency and accountability. The webt...


Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches in Informal Settlements

Isandla Institute | 2021-11-30 | 887 views

An estimated 1.4 million households in South Africa live in informal settlements; areas generally characterised by deprivation and exclusion. Despite targeted policies, strategies and interventions, the state is yet to respond effectively, and at the required scale, to the housing needs of the urban poor. The new Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG) makes it conditional on municipalities to include comprehensive and intentional strategies towards sustainable livelihoods in informal settlement upgrading plans and to intensify social compacts with relevant communities. These two requirements make it clear that informal settlement upgrading is not merely a technical exercise, nor can it be reduced to a narrow ‘serviced s...


Unlawful occupation in South Africa: What the law says

Isandla Institute | 2021-09-29 | 1287 views

The 2021 local government elections have once again cast a spotlight on the lived conditions of many South Africans. Based on 2011 census data, conservatively, between 1.1 and 1.4 million households (between 2.9 and 3.6 million people) in South Africa live in conditions characterised by the lack of adequate, affordable housing, the threat of unlawful eviction, and overcrowding. The persistence of occupation in informal settlements and inner city buildings is perhaps one of the more obvious examples of how little progress has been made towards a more equal and inclusive society. It is demonstrative of the state’s failure and the market’s inability to provide poor households with formal affordable accommodation options in well-located area...


Making municipal budget allocations for informal settlements more democratic

Isandla Institute | 2021-09-08 | 2622 views

Budget allocations offer insight into the priority areas that government has identified. As resources are constrained, municipalities are faced with a balancing act between different needs and demands. Beyond the challenge of limited funds to see through all desired outcomes, often there is a misalignment between the spheres of government in relation to priority areas and a lack of spatial coordination of public investment. With budgets being a key policy tool, it stands to reason that budget transparency is vital. Yet, municipal budgets are highly technical and often lack specific detail regarding what type of services will be delivered, where and by when. As Asivikelani notes: *“…the lack of detail in the metros’ budgets makes it chall...


The State of Land Release in South Africa

Isandla Institute | 2021-09-01 | 3039 views

In November 2020, the national Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation announced with great fanfare that the government will no longer prioritise building houses for qualifying applicants, but instead focus its interventions on providing serviced land which people can use to build their homes themselves. The reprioritisation is ostensibly a response to the call for land made by the landless as well as enterprising individuals unwilling to languish on ubiquitous and obscure housing waiting lists. Moreover, the shrinking housing budget and at that, a significant part of the fiscus having to be diverted towards the country’s COVID-19 response has made continued provision of subsidised housing unsustainable. There is little inf...


Addressing crime and violence in informal settlements through environmental design

Isandla Institute | 2021-08-04 | 739 views

Crime and violence in South Africa is an ongoing issue that government, civil society and the private sector are grappling with. We have seen an increase in crime levels, partly due to the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the economy and communities, with many people having lost their livelihoods, been laid off or lost earnings. The crime statistics for the first three months of 2021 paint a grim picture: nearly 5,000 people were murdered during this period, showing an 8% increase (387 additional murders) compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Evidence shows that low-income communities such as informal settlements are not only disproportionately affected by the devastating impact of Covid-19, but also by violence an...


Strategies of participatory upgrading and the promotion of a social compact

Isandla Institute | 2021-08-04 | 652 views

It is now widely acknowledged that evictions and demolitions are highly inappropriate responses to informal housing. In a break with the past, policymakers in South Africa and elsewhere have largely moved away from the language of ‘slum eradication’ to an acceptance that informal settlements are here to stay. This is encouraging, and demonstrates a recognition that neither South Africa’s public housing programme nor the formal housing market are managing to keep pace with the demand for affordable housing. If informal settlements cannot be eradicated, then the question now becomes: how can informal settlements be upgraded in a way that improves the dignity, safety and livelihoods of their residents? The shift towards informal settlement u...


The nuances of backyarding: What do we know?

Isandla Institute | 2021-07-13 | 627 views

Informal backyard living is a long standing feature of South African cities and has been steadily growing in recent years. It offers many urban residents an affordable housing solution, particularly those who are not eligible for public housing, those who qualify but find themselves on the long housing waiting list, or those who do not qualify for a bond and who cannot afford formal rentals. In fact, recent research on backyard housing in Cape Town conducted by the Backyard Matters Project, jointly executed by the Development Action Group (DAG), Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) and Isandla Institute, found that a significant proportion of tenants opt to live in neighbourhoods they have lived most of their lives or where the...


Exploring the relationship between evidence and implementation

Isandla Institute | 2021-07-07 | 621 views

It almost goes without saying that there should be a strong relationship between evidence and policy. Government interventions that are not based on research and a solid understanding of the context in which they are implemented are less likely to succeed. Similarly, it is important for government to substantiate the claims they make about service delivery using evidence so that genuine accountability can take place. Having a strong evidence base enables better planning. By understanding what is needed and what has been implemented so far, governments are able to adjust and target their interventions so that they have the greatest positive impact possible. Government (at all levels) will not be able to improve the lives of people living ...


The new impetus given to Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa

Isandla Institute | 2021-06-30 | 608 views

In her recent address on the Human Settlements Budget Vote, Minister Sisulu dedicated R10 billion to address the ‘nightmare’ of informal settlements over the next 3 years. This denotes a significant shift from previous stances taken by the National Department of Human Settlements – under Sisulu’s leadership – to either ‘eradicate’ informal settlements or have informal settlement upgrading eclipsed by ambitious housing projects. The shift represents a sense of pragmatism: an acceptance that informal settlements are an enduring feature of the urban landscape, combined with the realisation that the public housing programme cannot resolve the housing crisis fast enough. The contraction of the economy as a result of Covid-19 is further puttin...


Planning 4 Informality (P4I): Encouraging Accountability and Dialogue on Informal Settlement Upgrading and Backyarding Support

Isandla Institute | 2021-06-23 | 669 views

Informality remains a prominent feature of South African cities. Despite an ambitious public housing programme, informal settlements have continued to mushroom over the years. It is projected that 2.2 million families live in underdeveloped and substandard housing across the country; at least 60% (1.3 million households) of those live in informal settlements in and around the eight metros. Cities are given a clear mandate to upgrade informal settlements by providing services and renovating infrastructure. This is accomplished through the Upgrading Informal Settlements Programme (UISP), which outlines the procedures to be followed for different aspects of informal settlement upgrading, such as planning, land acquisition, basic services pro...


2019/2020 Update Analysis

Isandla Institute | 2020-10-06 | 594 views

The policy context for informal settlement upgrading is in constant flux, as policy-makers try to ensure that policy is evidence-based and informed by practice. The dynamic nature of informality is the reason why informal settlement upgrading is often referred to as a ‘moving target’. This has a bearing on annual metro municipalities’ plans and strategies. The 2019/2020 financial year was notable in the context of local government strategic planning, particularly for urban development. It was the end of national government’s 4-year medium-term strategic framework (MTSF) to tackle poverty, unemployment and inequality. This meant that metros would be gearing up to meet the targets set in 2014. 2019/2020 was also the year that National ...


Upgrading key to overcoming poverty and unemployment in informal settlements

Isandla Institute | 2019-04-09 | 572 views

Informal settlements form and grow due to in-migration as people seek better prospects in urban areas from rural areas or smaller towns, and partly due to natural population growth in the urban area and in other informal settlements. These settlements can provide a foothold for low income migrants due to low rentals, with proximity to opportunity leading to minimal transport costs. Thus, informal settlements provide potential for a ladder out of poverty. Not only do they serve as access points to economic activities in nearby formal areas, but a host of economic activity occurs within these settlements. These need to be protected and promoted. Most of this economic activity is in the informal sector. A sustainable settlement should host ...


Approaches to the Upgrading of Informal Settlements

Isandla Institute | 2019-04-02 | 628 views

There are a number of approaches to informal settlement upgrading, such as in situ upgrading, reblocking, and superblocking. A look at the characteristics of each allows for a better understanding of their respective benefits, as well as highlighting the necessity for community participation from the planning stage to ensure the sustainability of these upgrading approaches. # In Situ Upgrading of Monwabisi Park Monwabisi Park is one of the five informal settlements where the City of Cape Town embarked on a pilot programme for in situ upgrading in 2010. The upgrading process in these areas was participatory in nature, with the first step being the establishment of steering committees. The committees were tasked with identifying community ...


Measures of disaster risk management in informal settlements

Isandla Institute | 2019-03-26 | 599 views

Informal settlement residents live in precarious circumstances caused by multiple factors which affect their quality of life. These households are incredibly vulnerable to natural and other disasters such as flooding and fires. A number of methods are implemented by government to manage and mitigate disaster risks in informal settlements, including settlement realignment, smoke detectors and fire combat training, alternative building materials use and methods, as well as alternative lighting technologies. The provision of disaster kits is the most common initial intervention by government once a natural disaster has struck *[1]*. Re-blocking, the realignment of shacks, allows for thoroughfares and courtyards that inhibit the spread of f...


The 2019/2020 budget and how it affects human settlements

Isandla Institute | 2019-03-19 | 569 views

On 20 February 2019 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled the 2019/2020 budget, his first budget vote since his appointment last year. The budget message over the past few years has been for government officials to do more with less. So what does the 2019/2020 budget have in store for human settlements, and informal settlement upgrading specifically? The 2019/2020 Budget is premised on the Minister of Finance’s analogy of a farmer who reaps and sows. This implies putting in, in order to get out. First, it is important to establish that the national Department of Human Settlements is responsible for more than just housing. As defined in the Breaking New Ground strategy of 2004, sustainable human settlements have to do with many aspects of ...


Planning for Informality webtool turns spotlight on municipal progress in informal settlement upgrading

Isandla Institute | 2019-03-19 | 564 views

# About the Planning for Informality webtool The Planning for Informality webtool was developed by Isandla Institute in partnership with Open Data Durban and launched in August 2017. Municipalities, mandated by the National Department of Human Settlements, have committed to upgrading 750 000 informal settlement dwellings by 2019. Comprehensive informal upgrading strategies and plans are important elements in achieving this goal. The webtool tracks how the major metros are progressing towards this, based on reporting and policy commitments in core annual municipal documentation. The core municipal documents include the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) reviews, Built Environment Performance Plan (BEPP), Service Delivery Budget and Implementa...


Partnerships facilitating Community Participation in Cape Town

Isandla Institute | 2019-02-26 | 588 views

Strong partnerships between municipalities and civil society organizations are noted as good practice in informal settlement upgrading. Partnerships offer a way for stakeholders to share resources, knowledge and skills in upgrading projects. They can also be used to facilitate meaningful community participation – a principle that often lacks in practice. Municipal documentation from the City of Cape Town displays evidence of partnerships with civil society organisations to facilitate community participation. A deeper look into some of these partnerships reveals lessons which may be useful for other municipalities that are working towards creating an enabling environment for community participation. # Community Participation and Partn...


South African Urban Backyarders.

Isandla Institute | 2018-02-19 | 558 views

South African metropolitan cities (Metros) are currently experiencing pressing urban development issues, with many residents living in extreme poverty and inadequate conditions.The urban poor are often socially excluded and are in need of effective government intervention. The challenge of informal settlements is the most recognisable and is often at the forefront of political media, human settlement policy and interventions. However, the plight of the backyard dwellers is frequently overlooked and disregarded. </p></p> Because of housing backlogs and economic recession across South African cities, amongst others, it has become more common for existing dwellings to accommodate tenants in predominately <a href="http://informalcity.co.z...


Evaluating the Strengths and Weaknesses of the UISP

Isandla Institute | 2018-02-16 | 584 views

The Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) forms part of the ambitious National Housing Code of the Department of Human Settlements (DoHS). The programme offers an intergovernmental approach aimed at improving the living conditions of people in informal settlements by providing efficient service delivery, security of tenure and community empowerment and involvement. The UISP is divided into four major phases: project preparation, interim services, full services and registered tenure. Phases 1 to 3 focus on service delivery through the involvement of municipal, provincial and national government. The 4th phase relates to the allocation of funds for the development of individual houses in line with the eligibility of households...


Analysis of 2016/17 municipal documentation – Our findings

Isandla Institute | 2018-02-14 | 798 views

Analysis of the policies, programmes and projects presented in core municipal documentation was the starting point for developing the Data Index. Researchers in Isandla Institute’s Urban Land programme trawled through more than 50 pdf documents ranging from 50 – 300 pages to extract data. Read more about the research methodology and data sources.</p></p> In the assessment of 2016/17 municipal data of the eight cities, we found that increasingly cities are adopting strategies for the improvement of informal settlements in line with national government targets, but there is a general lack of alignment. Below we present the top five issues that national policymakers and regulators need to resolve. This will help ensure cities are held accou...


Introducing Planning for Informality

Isandla Institute | 2018-02-14 | 1595 views

Last year global leaders adopted the New Urban Agenda at the Habitat III convention. This convention is held every 20 years where policy directions are discussed and enacted. News websites were abuzz at the news that the New Urban Agenda will set a new global standard and policy direction for sustainable urban development, and blogs featured in-depth discussions on the detailed recommendations for planning, managing, financing, conserving and living in cities of the present and future. Through Resolution 109 of the New Urban Agenda, global leaders promise that, “We will consider increased allocations of financial and human resources, as appropriate, for the upgrading and, to the extent possible, prevention of slums and informal settlement...