South African Informal Settlement Support Program (ISSP) cities are experiencing rapid urban growth and, as a result, an increase in the number and size urban informal settlements with insecure living conditions. This trend is not going to stop any time soon. In fact, it is predicted that, by 2030, 71% of South Africans will be urbanised, rising to 80% by 2050. This will thus increase the demand for basic services, housing and infrastructure in an already highly unequal country. In order to prepare for this, the Western Cape Government is developing various frameworks and interventions to prepare the Western Cape.
The Western Cape Government’s Department of Human Settlements developed the Informal Settlement Strategic Framework (ISSF). Embracing the Western Cape’s Provincial Strategic Plan‘s Goal 4, the ISSF seeks to transform vulnerable settlements into safe and sustainable neighbourhoods, by enabling access to public infrastructure, finance, land tenure, economic opportunities, and incremental housing opportunities.
Our mandate at VPUU NPC includes Community Stakeholder engagement, such as leadership training and participatory planning. We are furthermore appointed to implement and manage data collection processes, or “enumerations” across several localities in the Western Cape.
Enumerations are a community-led process of conducting a census of households in informal areas. An enumeration survey consists of interviewing 100% of the households living in an area. It collects socio-economic and demographic information relating to the head of households, as well as number and age of dependents, access to infrastructure and basic services, disaster history, and tenure security levels. The enumeration is paired with a socio-economic household survey, taken by 10% of the households in the area.
Enumerations also allow for the community to receive Verification of Household Letters (VHI). VHI’s serve a data quality verification check as well as developing tenure security.