Informal housing in Cape Town : delivery, formalization and stakeholder viewpoints
The City of Cape Town is estimated to host approximately three million people. Of those three million, it is also estimated that 22 percent are living in what could be considered informal dwellings. In 2000, one of the United Nations Millennium Development Declaration goals for 2020 was ‘to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers as proposed in the Cities without slums initiative.’ The South African government took this initiative on board and has set a goal of eradicating all informal settlements in South Africa by 2014. There is thus a process of formalization currently taking place in South Africa. In Cape Town however, there is currently a backlog of between 300 000 to 400 000 households and this number is growing The issue of housing delivery, not only in Cape Town, but world-wide, is an aspect that attracts lots of discussion. The viewpoints on how to approach formal urban housing delivery vary from a state-led approach, to a more participatory process, to rental options, or even that informal settlements should be left as they are, as part of a city’s social fabric. But why do these viewpoints differ? And how do these divergent viewpoints influence approaches to housing delivery? In this study I will answer, ‘How stakeholders in the housing delivery process view informal settlements, and when there are divergent viewpoints, why do they differ’? Four groups of stakeholders in Cape Town were identified, namely government officials, contractors/developers, researchers and residents of informal settlements. Interviews were conducted with the stakeholders on an individual level except for the residents of informal settlements where focus groups where held in two informal settlements.