Incremental Informal Settlement Upgrading

More than 230 000 households in eThekwini live in informal settlements.  The city is rolling out an incremental services programme comprising:
Water standpipes
Communal ablution/sanitation blocks 
Solid waste removal and emergency access
Basic road access and footpaths with related storm water controls 
Electricity on a pre-paid basis


The City has also embarked on various additional initiatives in informal settlements to improve living conditions and empower residents.  These include supporting Early Childhood Development Centres, establishing area based management capacity, and deepening community engagement with upgrading plans and implementation.​

Info-graphic developed as part of the iQhaza Lethu project, illustrating the incremental and partnership-based approach to informal settlement upgrading​
Improved stakeholder engagement is critical for success in this arena.  eThekwini has secured a capacitation grant from the European Union to pilot a partnership-based model of incremental informal settlement upgrading over three years (2018-2020).  The initiative is called iQhaza Lethu (Our Participation) and aims to mobilize communities to participate in upgrading, and to create cross-sector institutional arrangements to roll out services and improve living conditons in informal settlements. 
On 4th September 2018, eThekwini Municipality entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the member organizations of the South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance.  The SASDI Alliance are providers of expertise for precedent-setting, community-driven, participative and incremental programmes for the improvement of the circumstances of residents of informal settlements and backyard precincts.  The collaboration is for the purpose of improving the circumstances of residents of informal settlements and backyard structures within the Municipality’s area of jurisdiction and that this partnership should entail mutually supporting one another’s efforts, as well as identifying and implementing a series of joint interventions with regard to Informal Settlement Upgrading (inclusive of, but not restricted to, incremental improvement of services) as well as the Enhanced People’s Housing Process delivery of houses.

Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between eThekwini Municipality and the member organisations of the South African Shack Dwellers International Alliance on 4 September 2018​