Media Statement - 02 July 2013

Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota- Fredericks has urged government to build partnerships with communities and non-governmental organisations as part of efforts to eradicate informal settlements.

Deputy Minister Kota– Fredericks was speaking at National Informal Settlements summit held at False Bay College, Khayelitsha campus in Cape Town today.

"Our new approach means we will build partnerships with communities, and to give them‘voice and choice’ in the design and construction of settlements that build sustainable livelihoods and can fulfil their needs,” said Kota Fredericks.

"National government has recognised that to unlock capacities, we must build a new practice of participatory planning, construction and management in sustainable human settlements,” she added.

The Department of Human Settlements has targeted 45 municipalities as a priority in developing informal settlement upgrading programmes, and has agreed with the Presidency that 1 800 informal settlements will all have detailed project plans produced through participatory processes.

"We have also established the Mining Towns in Distress Programme to improve living conditions in informal settlements in the platinum and gold fields across the country,” said Kota –Fredericks.

Professor Phil Harrison from the National Planning Commission said the key objective of the National Development Plan was to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality through building a capable developmental state and promote an active, engaged citizenry.

"The major challenge is our failure to coordinate delivery of household infrastructure between provinces, municipalities and national government. The poorest live either in former homelands or in cities far from where jobs are. We can either move people where the jobs are or move the jobs to where people are,” added Harrison.

Patrick Magebula chairperson of the Informal Settlement Network said the summit should achieve its main objective of making it compulsory for provinces and municipalities to regularly engage the communities in their planning.

"I think government should meet with the communities on a quarterly basis, not only for reporting purposes but serious engagements should take place around issues of budget, land and planning as whole. This will also help reduce protests which are sometimes perpetuated by lack of communication between authorities and the communities they are serving,” he added.

Issued by the Department of Human Settlements

For information, contact Teboho Montse on 082 886 6721.

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 2, 2013