An analysis of planning intervention in the formalisation of informal settlements in Ikageng Township within the Tlokwe local municipality
Taruza, Takudzwa Charisse
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The proliferation of informal settlements is one of the major challenges faced by developing countries. In South Africa, informal settlements exist as the remnants of the apartheid spatial segregation and the inability of the housing sector to cope with the unprecedented rate of urbanisation. The government has responded to this challenge by implementing various policies and legislation. Today, the inhabitants of informal settlements continue to live in poverty, without adequate basic services, lack of access to employment opportunities, and they are faced with disaster risks as well as threats of evictions. A case study of the informal settlements in Ikageng Township within the Tlokwe Local Municipality provides a basis for the analysis of government intervention in addressing the challenge of informal settlements through the use of planning instruments. The study is based on literature and empirical analysis. The literature review is based on an analysis of the spatial aspects of housing for the poor, an assessment of how low income housing is provided in response to the needs of the poor, an examination of various aspects of informal settlements and the policy implications relating to addressing informal settlements also constitute part of the literature review. The empirical analysis focuses on the various policies and legislation implemented by the government, the living conditions of the inhabitants in the informal settlements under study and an analysis of how the three spheres of government have responded in addressing the informal settlements in Ikageng. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is utilised as a tool to measure the progress of the programme focusing on the local, provincial and national spheres of government. The results indicate that the North West Provincial Government ranked lowest in contributing to the upgrading of informal settlements in Ikageng as compared to the other two spheres of government. The stagnation in the upgrading of informal settlements in Ikageng is a result of lack of capacity and failure of the North West Provincial Government to fund and steer the upgrading process. It is concluded that the lack of horizontal and vertical integration in spatial planning and programme implementation caused loopholes in the upgrading of informal settlements thus the stagnation in the programme. It is also concluded that the primary focus of the upgrading of informal settlements is on meeting targets in terms of quantity and less attention is paid to improving the lives of the inhabitants. iv It is therefore recommended that the government adopts the formalisation approach to informal settlement intervention with greater emphasis on practical basic services delivery and full title ownership. The municipality should also consider the amendment of the IDP to include a section that focuses entirely on informal settlements and the formalisation programme. The formalisation approach should also include the revision of the roles of each sphere of government in housing delivery through the transfer of the housing function from the provincial government to the municipalities. It is also recommended that the government maximises on community engagement, communication, capacity building and collaboration with key role players in the planning field and the private sector thus improving the lives of the inhabitants and promoting the development of sustainable human settlements.