Advancing a Participatory Approach to Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa

There has been recent evidence of a concerted attempt being made to shift the practice of the state towards embracing a progressive model of incremental informal settlement upgrading but there remain serious challenges to enacting such a participatory model in practice. 

Isandla Institute hosted a National Roundtable on the 18th of October 2012 in Cape Town that brought together key stakeholders from the different spheres of the state, civil society, community leaders and other national organising bodies for honest and critical reflection on the opportunities and challenges created by embracing a participatory approach to incremental informal settlement upgrading. The day consisted of a keynote address from the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Zou Kota-Fredericks, and a series of inputs from state officials, practitioners and NGOs to identify the key institutional, policy-related and practical levers available to municipal practitioners and civil society partners to ensure that the upgrading of informal settlements is done in partnership with communities.

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