Evaluating the socio-economic impact of relocating residents from informal settlements with the purpose of creating sustainable human settlements. case study of Philani Valley, Umlazi.
The study was conducted in Philani Valley (also known as Y-section) in uMlazi. The area falls under eThekwini Municipality (Ward 86). It is located in the South of Durban inland of the N2 highway. Philani Valley is 24.3 Km away from Durban and is 6.8 km away from Isipingo. The Embokodweni River forms the western and southern boundaries of the study area. The study area is one of the Informal Settlement Upgrading: Relocation programmes implemented in uMlazi to eradicate informal settlements in order to create sustainable human settlements. A sample of 30 households was drawn from 329 beneficiaries of Philani Valley Housing Project. The study was aimed at evaluating the socio-economic impact of relocating residents from informal settlements with the purpose of creating sustainable settlements. The study focused on evaluating the experiences of the residents before and after the relocation, by exploring if whether the economic and social opportunities of the residents relocated to Philani Valley improved or not. The study utilised quantitative and qualitative techniques to collect primary data. The theoretical framework for the study was based on Mordernisation theory, Sustainable Livelihoods and Enabling approach. The findings of the study indicated that the relocation of informal settlement residents to a new location without doing proper assessments on the social and economic opportunities, can not only disrupt social and economic networks but also undermine the aim of creating sustainable human settlements in South Africa. The study made a number of recommendations, which highlight4lnkbuoivjjkghjvcj the importance of the location of beneficiaries of Informal Settlement Upgrading: Relocation Programmes. One of the study’s recommendations stated that, the government needs to make sure that the location of the project is closer to the social amenities and economic nodes, in order to eliminate transport costs which the poor cannot afford. Therefore it is important that the South Africa’s housing policies highlight the importance of providing low income houses in order to accomplish the socio-economic and education needs of the beneficiaries. The study concluded that, the upgrading of informal settlements should not be the sole responsibility of Department of Human Settlements and local municipality housing units, but instead a responsibility of multi-sectoral stakeholders working collectively in eradicating informal settlements and creating sustainable human settlements.
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