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Faces of the City – Online event titled ‘Upgrading of informal settlements in South Africa – policy, policy engagements, diversions and failed efforts at unblocking implementation’

April 26, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Online event titled ‘Upgrading of informal settlements in South Africa – policy, policy engagements, diversions and failed efforts at unblocking implementation‘  – Tuesday 26 April 2022, 16:00PM – 17:30PM (CAT).

South Africa adopted an informal settlement upgrading programme into its national legislation through the Housing Code in 2004. In this presentation we provide background on the South African housing delivery and informal settlement situation and the introduction and approach of the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP). We provide an overview of the trajectory of the UISP at a national level, including fluctuating political leadership and the initiatives of responsible entities. We use the national Human Settlement department’s response to COVID-19 through a sector engagement platform and temporary relocation, as well as subsequent deliberation platforms that have involved non-state actors, to illustrate the challenges with resolving blockages to implementation. We then turn to the case of the Slovo Park informal settlement upgrade, for which we have served on a City of Johannesburg task team as technical support to the Slovo Park Community Development Forum for the past five years. The settlement-level trajectory illustrates the insurmountable challenges in unlocking implementation, suggesting need for a fundamental review of how government funding is spent on informal settlements.

Speaker Biographies: 
Neil Klug is an urban planner and designer and is a senior lecturer (80% time) at the University of Witwatersrand’s Planning School and now has over 20 years of teaching experience. In 2016 he registered for a PhD degree at the University of the Witwatersrand dealing with the topic of planning instruments and their efficacy in transforming the post-apartheid spatial legacy. In the remaining 20% time he works as a planning consultant with now over 30 years’ experience. His areas of specialisation include housing policy, particularly informal settlement (slum) upgrading, land use planning and land tenure arrangements. Over the past decade he has published several articles in local and international journals, and book chapters with colleagues, related to the above topics.
Marie Huchzermeyer is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning where she has convened a masters degree in the field of housing for the past two decades and more recently the wider Masters of Urban Studies. Besides teaching in the urban studies and housing field and higher degree supervision, she is currently in the rotating role of Director of the Centre of Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies (CUBES), a small research centre embedded in the School. Marie’s research and publications have been on informal settlement and housing policy and private rental housing. Her current research explores informal settlements through the lenses of Henri Lefebvre as well as the right to development.

Zoom link: https://wits-za.zoom.us/j/93584078767?pwd=VThtaGxWODZpSUI0Ukg0enh5eFZzdz09 
Meeting ID: 935 8407 8767
Passcode: 797408

Please send enquiries to Khumo Sello at facesofthecity.wits@gmail.com


April 26, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Categories:


Virtual (Zoom)


University of the Witwatersrand
Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment (CUBES)
Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO)
Wits School of Architecture and Planning