This paper argues that the creation of sustainable and integrated human settlements is a crucial component in the response to HIV/AIDS. In light of this, the paper considers whether the current approach to sustainable human settlements, as articulated in 'Breaking New Ground', provides an appropriate response to the changing context due to HIV/AIDS. Specific attention is given to the role of local government (as the primary basic service provider within South Africa's system of intergovernmental relations) to respond effectively to HIV/AIDS by integrating it into human settlements planning and development.
The paper makes a number of recommendations for effectively integrating HIV/AIDS into sustainable human settlements planning and development:
- Actively involve people living with HIV/AIDS, marginalized social groups and households and communities that are affected by the epidemic in the design and development of sustainable human settlements.
- Review policy assumptions underpinning sustainable human settlements planning.
- Broaden the scope of interventions to overcome the policy bias with individual home ownership and greenfields development.
- Accelerate in situ upgrading in a manner that recognises and supports livelihood strategies and social support systems.
- Take cognisance of HIV/AIDS in urban planning and settlement design.
- Take cognisance of HIV/AIDS in housing unit design.
- Proactively and creatively allow for the transfer of title deed or rental agreements in the case of succession.
- Consider housing provision within the context of a comprehensive social development package that includes municipal indigent support.
- Recognise and support the inter-related agendas for between sustainable human settlements and local economic development.
- Provide the necessary guidance and support for local government to integrate HIV/AIDS in sustainable human settlements planning and development.
- Recognise the implications of HIV/AIDS for the institutional capacity required for sustainable human settlements planning and development.