Senzo Victor Dlamini

Research Info

Examining the impact of the Community Residential Units (CRU) housing subsidy instrument on eradicating inner-city slums in the Msunduzi Municipality - Pietermaritzburg. A case study of the Jika Joe Community Residential Units (CRU) Project.

This thesis examines international and national policies and practices regarding the eradication and upgrading of slums. It also examines factors behind the formation of slums, initiatives for upgrading slums and the participation, engagement or the lack thereof, of slum dwellers in the upgrading of slums. It further highlights the challenges faced by slum dwellers and recommends strategies for eradicating or upgrading slums and addressing challenges associated with slums in South Africa.

Internationally, there are demographic shifts caused by rapid urbanisation. According to Faye, et al. (2018) the population of the African continent is 1.18 billion people and could double by the year 2050. This rapid population growth presents both threats and opportunities for African cities. On the one hand existing urban infrastructures are under a serious stress and cannot respond to the rapid urbanisation needs, thus creating slums. On the other hand, rapid urbanisation should be creating opportunities for the housing sector to boom and stimulate economic growth resulting from many sectors that should support and be supported by the housing boom

Urbanisation will yield positive outcomes if those entrusted with making policies develop effective policies to address urban infrastructure and dearth of housing. In the past as well as presently, inadequate planning for urban areas and/or ineffective policy implementation has resulted in the slums proliferation.

The main objective of this study is to examine whether or not the current policy is adequate to address the slum challenges in South Africa in general and Jika Joe slum at Msunduzi Municipality in particular. Examining the South African policy instrument intended for the eradication of slums entailed defining the problem of slums and examining methods and approaches for the upgrading of slums. The thesis considered international approaches already developed to deal with the dynamics of slums and the policies adopted towards them throughout the world.

This study used a qualitative research approach. The Jika Joe slum located in the inner-city of Pietermaritzburg was used as a case study from where data was collected. The case study enabled the researcher to examine in-depth the phenomena and conditions of slums. Themes such as employment, level of education, income level and access to services were developed in order to facilitate data collection and analysis. Data was collected in the form of secondary data that was previously collected for other purposes but were useful to this study. A thorough, theoretical review formed the foundation of this study. This exercise included the document analysis protocol, which involved a systematic procedure for reviewing or evaluating municipal and national documents, legislation and international documents. Data was also collected in the form of primary data from the Jika Joe slum that constituted original data that was collected with the end goal of tackling the research question. The respondents and informants who were interviewed through semi-structured, open-ended interviews included KZNDoHS Deputy Manager of Social Housing, Msunduzi Municipality Rental Housing Manager and thirty respondents from the Jika Joe slum. Broad questions asked dealt with a wide range of issues including area of origin, employment status, income level, educational attainment level, status of accommodation, access to services and level of participation in slum upgrading initiatives.

In order to carry out data analysis, data sets were coded for analytical processing in which qualitative statistics such as transcripts were categorised to assist with analysis. Coding was to restructure the statistics into a structure suitable for computer-assisted interpretation. This categorisation of statistics was an essential step, for example, in preparing data for processing using statistical software. Data collected from the field, viz. Jika Joe slum, revealed that slum upgrading should adopt a multi-pronged and multi-disciplinary approach in order to formulate strategies, systems, policies and plans, amongst others, to address the material, social and institutional challenges faced by slum dwellers.