On 11 September 2019, SERI participated in the National Upgrading Support Programme’s (NUSP) Community of Practice Workshop on the upgrading of informal settlements. SERI researchers, Tiffany Ebrahim and Thato Masiangoako, screened and briefly discussed the short documentary, The Struggle to Be Ordinary, which looks at the difficulties women with disabilities face in accessing sanitation in the informal settlement of Slovo Park. They also presented on SERI's Informal Settlement Action Research Series entitled Informal Settlement in South Africa: Norms, Practices and Agency. This research series looks at life in the informal settlements of Ratanang (located in the west of Klerksdorp CBD in the City of Matlosana, North West province), Marikana (located in Philippi East in the City of Cape Town, Western Cape province) and Siyanda (located in KwaMashu, eThekwini, in the KwaZulu-Natal province).
The purpose of the Community of Practice is to promote the incremental in situ upgrading of informal settlements and brings together government officials, members of civil society and academia to share their experiences and lessons with informal settlement upgrading. Other presenters included Dr Claudia Loggia, from the ISULabaNtu community-led upgrading project, and Ms Mirjam Van Donk and Rebecca Matsie from Isandla Institute.
Lerato Marole and other representatives from the Slovo Park Community Development Forum (SPCDF) also participated in the Community of Practice and shared some of their experiences of working with the City of Johannesburg to enforce the Slovo Park judgement and emphasised the importance of community leadership and meaningful engagement with communities on the part of government.