featured image

In April and May this year, HDA informal settlement upgrading support work, under the watchful eye of Maki Thellane, HDA manager: programmes and technical support services, has been focused on the roll-out of nine pilot projects in three provinces: North West, the Northern Cape and the Free State.

Participatory planning, regular project review meetings, community workshops and steering committee workshops were key to ensuring the teams remained focused, all stakeholders were kept informed, milestones were met, and that the final plans are integrated and implementable.

Project review meetings

Together with Rustenburg, Northern Cape and Mangaung officials, the HDA co-ordinated project review meetings, which were attended by project managers, consultants and community leadership, i.e. ward councillors. The meetings were held regularly during Apriland May 2013 and focused on the day-to-day project activities and milestones.

The meetings were intended to build on the concept of the facilitated participatory planning process, and to accommodate involvement of the different departments in the municipality, i.e. housing, planning, infrastructure, integrated development planning, and local economic development.

This was to ensure that the proposed upgrading plans are aligned to municipal priorities, and that the concept of integration is realised. During the lifespan of the projects, six project review meetings were held with Rustenburg, three each with the Northern Cape and Mangaung.

Steering committee workshops

Steering committee meetings took a workshop format, and their purpose was to review the main project milestones. The HDA held one steering committee meeting in each area before the projects were closed, and the technical and social facilitation teams made one presentation each.

Community workshops

The consultants and the HDA project management team incorporated feedback from the steering committee workshops into the final concept and, in some instances, layout plans.

The purpose of the community workshops was to provide final feedback on findings from the studies, and obtain the views of the community on the proposed concept plans to enable the finalisation of the layout plans.

The HDA, together with the social facilitators, coordinated the workshops, and municipal officials supported by the ward councilors responsible for each area facilitated them.

The end results of this two-month process are that draft settlement upgrading plans and interventions have been developed for all nine projects. The plans outline the results of the technical field studies (i.e. engineering, geotech, environment, planning status, tenure assessment) and programme phasing/incremental upgrading solutions, including:

• Proposed roll-out plan with indicative timeframes
• Draft layout plans where needed
• Proposed livelihood programmes and sustainability interventions for each settlement
• Results of the enumeration exercise
• Formalisation with a focus on incremental upgrading

Plans were rolled out in the Free State (Mangaung Metro Municipality), North West (Rustenburg Local Municipality) and the Northern Cape (Tsantsabane Local Municipality, Gamagara Local Municipality, Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, Phokwane Local Municipality).