On 6 April 2018, SERI researcher, Tiffany Ebrahim, gave a presentation on the use of provincial and local conditional grants on the upgrading of the Slovo Park Informal Settlement (Slovo Park). The presentation fell on the second day of a two-day Budget Training workshop hosted by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in Johannesburg.
Informal settlements are a response to the lack of affordable housing near cities. More than 1.3 million households in South Africa live in informal settlements to more easily access employment opportunities and basic services. More than 10,000 people live in the Slovo Park Informal Settlement, alone. The residents of Slovo Park have been embroiled in a legal battle to have the City of Johannesburg take the necessary steps to upgrade the settlement in terms of the Upgrading Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) for more than a decade.
Tiffany presented on the in situ upgrading of the Settlement as prescribed under the UISP and the funding that has been allocated to implement the policy, specifically the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG) and the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG). She highlighted the fact that the drastic underspending of the USDG conditional grant made available specifically for the implementation of the UISP in places such as Slovo Park, has led to slow implementation of court ordered upgrades. Tiffany’s presentation also emphasised the importance of having a Slovo Park “Task Team”, which includes community organisations and state representatives as key stakeholders, working to forge an effective and sustainable plan for development.
Tiffany Ebrahim is the key researcher on the forthcoming paper detailing the Slovo Park Upgrade Process which will be released later this year.