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Urban LandMark

Voices of the poor: Synthesis and recommendations

Warren Smit

Development Action Group (DAG), Urban LandMark

22 June 2007

SARPN acknowledges Urban LandMark as a source of this document: www.urbanlandmark.org.za
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Introduction

This report analyses the perspectives and experiences of civil society organizations with regard to access to urban land by the poor. It is based on a series of workshops undertaken with civil society organization representatives during May and June 2007 as part of the Voices of the Poor project for Urban LandMark.

First, this report looks at the process of engagement with civil society organizations. Second, the findings from the engagement process are discussed. Finally, some recommendations for Urban LandMark are made.

Process of engagement with civil society organizations

The Voices of the Poor stakeholder engagement process is described below. This is followed by some reflections on the process.

  1. Overview of the Engagement Process

    Four workshops, covering the major urban regions of South Africa, were organized. These workshops were hosted by urban development NGOs active in the various regions.

    The workshops undertaken were as follows:

    • Port Elizabeth, 23 May 2007 – organized and facilitated by the Urban Services Group (USG)
    • Cape Town, 26 May 2007 – organized and facilitated by the Development Action Group (DAG)
    • Pietermaritzburg, 30 May 2007 – organized and facilitated by the Built Environment Support Group (BESG)
    • Johannesburg, 2 June 2007 – organized by Susan Carey and Mzwanele Mayekiso; Planact collaborated in organizing the workshop and also participated in the workshop

    Each workshop consisted of the following sessions (see Appendix A for a typical workshop programme):

    • An input on the purpose of the workshop
    • Presentations by civil society organizations on their experiences and perspectives with regard to access to urban land
    • Small group discussions in which participants were divided into three groups to discuss key questions relating to access to urban land by the poor
    • Report backs by the three groups
    • Plenary discussion

    In all, 105 participants from more than 30 different civil society organizations, participated in these events. A wide range of civil society organizations were represented at the workshops.

    Umbrella organizations:

    • Landless People’s Movement – attended the Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg workshops
    • Coalition of the Urban Poor (CUP)1 – attended the Johannesburg workshop
    • Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP) – attended the Johannesburg workshop
    • Anti-Privatization Forum (APF) – attended the Johannesburg workshop
    • Sakhumnotho, iSandla Sethu and Qophindlela Co-operatives from Durban and their umbrella organization – attended the Pietermaritzburg workshop

    Civic associations:

    • SANCO Langa, Cape Town
    • Alex Civic Organisation, Johannesburg

    Informal settlement communities:

    • Helenvale, Port Elizabeth
    • Walmer (Airport Valley and G-West), Port Elizabeth
    • Kliprand – Port Elizabeth
    • Moegesukkel, Port Elizabeth
    • Hangberg, Cape Town
    • Mkhondeni, Pietermaritzburg
    • Madiba Section, Pietermaritzburg
    • Sizani, Johannesburg

    Relocated communities:

    • Delft Temporary Relocation Area (TRA), Cape Town
    • Masisukume/ France settlement, Pietermaritzburg
    • North East Sector 2, Pietermaritzburg

    PHP housing projects:

    • Ntuthukoville, Pietermaritzburg
    • Lower Thornwood, Durban

    Inner city tenants:

    • Willow Gardens Flats, Pietermaritzburg

    Land restitution claimants:

    • Ndabeni Trust

    NGOs:

    • Association for Rural Advancement (Afra), Pietermaritzburg
    • Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Johannesburg
    • Planact, Johannesburg
    • Yeast City Housing, Pretoria
    • Inner City Resource Centre (ICRC), Johannesburg
    • Built Environment Support Group, Pietermaritzburg (although they were not participants in the workshop, they subsequently made a written submission)

Footnote:
  1. The Coalition of the Urban Poor (CUP) is a grassroots network of organisations of the urban poor. CUP, and its rural counterpart, the Alliance of Rural Communities (ARC), are linked to the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP), a social movement consisting of an estimated 700 housing savings schemes linked with a loan fund called the uTshani Fund, which is affiliated to Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI). CUP, ARC and FEDUP are supported by an NGO called the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) which was previously called the Community Organisation Urban resource Centre (COURC). These organisations have their roots in the South African Homeless People’s Federation (SAHPF), and its support arm, People’s Dialogue on Land and Shelter, which were formed in the early 1990s.




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