Part 7 - Design and Implementation

A feature of in situ upgrading is that large scale machine-driven construction projects are seldom possible and instead there are lots of opportunities for the employment of local skilled and manual labour. The value of development is not only the end product that is delivered but the process of delivery - and how many people can benefit from jobs, skills training and capacity-building along the way.

The partnership must investigate the options for how each project can be implemented and then make choices between satisfying different objectives, such as speed, cost, employment, job creation and skills development. Consideration must also be given to how projects should be managed and what role the partnership will play in receiving progress reports, resolving any disputes and making decisions.

The standard manual in South Africa is the ‘Guidelines for Human Settlement Planning & Design’ (“the Red Book) published by the Department of Human Settlements, of which Volume 2 addresses engineering services.

The provisions of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) which promotes and finances labour-intensive project applications should be utilised wherever possible, remembering that informal settlements accommodate mainly poor people.

However we are going to have to develop systems and procedures that incorporate really appropriate and sustainable standards for improving informal settlements – and to do that we shall we need help with ideas that have been tried and tested elsewhere.

A particularly useful reference is which provides lots of accompanying examples and case studies.

It is also worth finding the time to watch the audio visual programmes on Adaptive and Proactive Approaches to upgrading in:

Some guidelines on the design, implementation and maintenance of infrastructure for upgrading informal settlements in the South African context can be found here.