Due to high rates of migration and rapid urban population growth, the number of informal settlements in South Africa has grown from 300 in 1997 to more than 2700 today. Although these settlements often lack basic infrastructure such as roads, water and sanitation, they are permanent and vibrant communities which need to be embraced and planned for.
One of these communities is the Langrug informal settlement in Franschhoek, Western Cape. Habitat works closely with the Langrug leadership committee to build capacity, transfer knowledge, and develop skills. Through this participatory process, the community has been empowered to engage with government and play an active role in improving their living conditions.
Habitat in collaboration with the Isandla Institute and the Palmer Development Group were recently appointed to develop an Informal Settlement Support Plan for the province. This strategy will provide strategic direction to the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements as they design and implement upgrading interventions. The goal of the support plan is to pave a new way for incremental settlement upgrading which is focused on improving the quality of life for people living in informal settlements, increasing their access to land tenure, and ensuring that they play an active role in development projects with the support of intermediary organisations.
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