NEWS

What is the National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP)?

11 Aug, 2013
One of the South African Government’s greatest challenges stems from the fact that informal settlements continue to grow faster than the rate of low-income housing delivery. The need, therefore, for in-situ informal settlement upgrade is paramount. National Development Outcome 8 mandates an ambitious target of improving the quality of life of 400 000 households by 2014 by upgrading informal settlements in well-located areas.

One of the South African Government’s greatest challenges stems from the fact that informal settlements continue to grow faster than the rate of low-income housing delivery.

The need, therefore, for in-situ informal settlement upgrade is paramount. National Development Outcome 8 mandates an ambitious target of improving the quality of life of 400 000 households by 2014 by upgrading informal settlements in well-located areas.

The National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP) was created by the National Department of Human Settlements (NDHS) to provide assistance to provinces and municipalities in their efforts to upgrade informal settlements.

The HDA is an important partner in providing technical support for upgrading under the coordination of the NUSP. The Upgrading Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) and Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) administered by the NDHS, are the primary policy and grant instrument used to meet national targets.

Municipalities are required to act as developers for the UISP and the NUSP provides support, in partnership with the province and the NDHS, to help them do so effectively. The three pillars of the UISP are basic services (including water and sanitation), security of tenure and community empowerment.

Most municipalities have the capacity to provide basic services but fewer have looked to alternative means of security of tenure other than the orthodox approach of freehold.

Fewer still effectively undertake community empowerment as required by the National Housing Code. On this third issue the NUSP provides technical assistance for municipalities to undertake planning in conjunction with communities. It also has a capacity building programme which aims to assist municipal and provincial officials to understand and meet the range of needs for informal settlement upgrade.

The NUSP also provides support to municipalities in project development and to implement more integrated planning. Through workshops, seminars and information sharing across the country NUSP is helping to improve the knowledge base around informal settlement upgrade.

This includes highlighting of best practices, creating networks of practitioners and undertaking research. NUSP will support 49 priority municipalities with their informal settlement upgrading plans. Ultimately, the goal of the NUSP is to strengthen the capacity of all institutions involved in the upgrade of informal settlements which, in turn, will help meet the Outcome 8 target of assisting 400,000 households by 2014.

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