How to fund shack dwellers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE CITY of Cape Town wants, among other things, to be a car­ing city. A good start­ing point would be to read the UN’s Habi­tat lll, pa­per 22 of 31, into our In­te­grated Devel­op­ment Plan. In that way the City will have a clear plan of ac­tion that meets in­ter­na­tional cri­te­ria.

On Au­gust 11, the ex­ec­u­tive mayor, ad­dress­ing the newly con­sti­tuted coun­cil, lim­ited the City to “con­tinue to pro­vide san­i­ta­tion and ba­sic ser­vices to in­for­mal set­tle­ments”. That is not enough by any stretch of imag­i­na­tion.

What is lack­ing is phys­i­cal plan­ning. This should be an apex re­quire­ment.

Peo­ple in in­for­mal set­tle­ments are vul­ner­a­ble be­cause they lack se­cu­rity of ten­ure and phys­i­cal plan­ning sup­port. Such set­tle­ments are usu­ally in ar­eas that are ge­o­graph­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally haz­ardous. That the res­i­dents are usu­ally poor ex­ac­er­bates the sit­u­a­tion. Con­se­quently, acute so­cio-spa­tial ex­clu­sion and marginal­i­sa­tion oc­curs. Qual­ity of life is non-ex­is­tent.

I ap­peal to the ex­ec­u­tive mayor to es­tab­lish a spe­cial trust to help gen­er­ate funds to sup­port in­for­mal set­tle­ments. Our sta­di­ums and beaches should be used for sum­mer fes­ti­vals and events in or­der to gen­er­ate mil­lions of rand to help dwellers. Let Cape Town be a truly car­ing city.

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