The national government has identified the upgrading of informal settlements as a key component of its human settlement development approach. According to the 2014-2019 government outcome based target for human settlement development, government is committed to upgrading (to phase 2 of the upgrading of informal settlements programme – that involves the provision of basic services ad tenure security) the living conditions of 750 000 households living in informal settlements by 2019. Despite this commitment however, many municipalities are not implementing upgrading as it is supposed to be implemented according to policy and the code. Government seems to prefer to move people from informal settlements into new RDP houses as it sees this as less complex than in situ upgrading.
In November 2015 the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality approved the upgrading plans for 32 informal settlements. As of February 2019 the municipality had not yet started to implement these plans. The Afesis-corplan Upgrading of Informal Settlement Implementation Support Project aims to:
- Support communities from the 32 informal settlements whose plans were approved by the municipality to meaningfully engage the municipality towards the upgrading of their settlements in line with the approved plans;
- Advise the Buffalo City Municipality to implement the upgrading plans for 32 informal settlements;
- Conduct research into how the upgrading of informal settlements can be improved; and
- Advocate for more enabling legislation making it easier to implement informal settlement upgrading.
The Upgrading of Informal Settlement Implementation Support Project builds on the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Planning Project that Afesis-corplan was involved with in 2014-2015.