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The HDA, in partnership with the National Upgrading Support Project (NUSP) technical team and Free State Department of Human Settlements, jointly hosted a two-day capacity-building workshop in Bloemfontein on 25 and 26 March 2014.

The workshop was attended by representatives from all spheres of government, the HDA, and six NUSP municipalities (Mangaung, Dihlabeng Local, Maluti-a-Phofung, Metsimaholo, Moqhaka and Matjabeng), as well as the University of the Free State.

The workshop reviewed useful examples of policies that have had a negative impact on the lives of beneficiaries, and made the holistic management of cities more complex and difficult to respond to.

Delegates also examined good practice for addressing the challenge of informal settlements.

NUSP governance adviser Monty Narsoo, the facilitator, highlighted the purpose and objectives of the workshop as follows:

  • To introduce the introductory course to upgrading
  • To highlight the national directives and policy intentions
  • To share experiences and lessons drawn from upgrading approaches

Narsoo emphasised the importance of understanding fiscal allocations to provinces and municipalities through the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) and Division of Revenue Bill. An overview of key grants contributing to the delivery of sustainable human settlements was provided.

It was agreed at the conclusion of the workshop that the way forward is to hold more workshops for provincial heads, senior managers and politicians responsible for human settlements development.

Furthermore, there is a need to hold separate thematic workshops for individual municipalities, based on their different needs, and there is a need to have more engagement with HDA for provision of technical support services.