National informal settlement summit
The Deputy Minister of Human Settlements: Ms Zou Kota Fredericks hosted the National Informal Settlements Summit in Khayelitsha, Cape Town on 2 July 2013. The main purpose of the summit was to reinforce government’s key policy directives towards the upgrading of informal settlements through building partnerships with all key stakeholders within the human settlements sector.
The Deputy Minister made a call to communities to trust government when it came to “in situ” upgrading and she mentioned that “people are no longer relocated when settlements are upgraded and basic services provided”. She further emphasised that people should be tolerant and should not resist the incremental approach to upgrading.
Professor Philip Harrison, a member of the National Planning Commission, also presented on the National Development Plan (NDP) in relation to informal settlements and transforming human settlements. He mentioned that while there had been a gradual decline in the number of people living in informal settlements over the past ten years, there has also been a significant increase in backyard shack dwellers. Prof Harrison further emphasised the critical need to transform human settlement patterns in South Africa in line with chapter 8 of the NDP.
A platform was also provided to three metros (City of Cape Town, Ethekwini and Buffalo City) to show case examples of good practice in incremental upgrading of informal settlements. ISN-SDI-COURC, DAG and Abahlali Basemjondolo were also provided with a platform in the last part of the summit to showcase good examples of community-led planning.