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As part of HDA's medium-term operational plan (MTOP) with the Free State provincial Department of Human Settlements, the Agency is assisting with its informal-settlement upgrading programme.

One of the very first steps was to obtain a rapid overview of the scale and nature of the informal settlements in municipalities throughout the province. To this end the Agency conducted rapid assessments in thirteen municipalities. The Department of Human Settlements, municipal officials and local councillors provided assistance.

The data was used to categorise and prioritise the informal settlements in the municipalities, indicating the appropriate type of developmental response for each one. Feasibility studies and upgrading plans will be developed leading to implementation.

The rapid assessment tool is now being used across the country as a way to gather data to assess and prioritise informal settlement upgrading projects.