Constraints and opportunites in the implementation of the slums clearance programme in Ethekwini metropolitan area : the cases of Welbedagt West and Parkgate relocation areas and Quarry Road West informal settlement.
This study is an investigation of the constraints and opportunities in the implementation of the Slums Clearance Programme in the Ethekwini Metropolitan Area (EMA). It embraces a case study method and, as such, uses Quarry Road West Informal Settlement, Welbadagt West and Urnzomuhle Parkgate Relocation Areas. Furthermore, the study has an endeavour to uncover the factors that influence the formation and increase of informal settlements within the city. To realise this fundamental objective, questionnaire surveys (including socioeconomic information) of the beneficiaries and interviews with the Metro Council Officials and others were employed in areas used as case studies to gather as much data as possible regarding the constraints and opportunities of this programme. It has become explicitly clear, moreover, that the majority of people living in the three case studies came from areas outside Durban for employment opportunities. Due to the fact that they were unemployed at the time of this research project and were still looking for jobs, they stated that they had no option but to live in the informal settlements closer to the city to minimise travelling costs. Apparently, some of these informal settlements are located closer to high-risk areas such as flood lines, dumping sites and so on, as a consequence of this, the National Department of Housing in conjunction with the Ethekwini Municipality (Metro Housing Department), are in the process of implementing the Slums Clearance Programme in order, according these bodies to respond to such situation. The Slums Clearance Programme, which basically involves upgrading and relocating the affected informal settlements, is analysed in the light of the past and contemporary experiences within the context of developing countries to broaden the horizons of this project. A relevant theoretical framework and literature review is presented as a support for the study and to put it in a relevant perspective. The results based on the hypothesis indicate that although the Slums Clearance Programme is in deed, at face value, an appropriate response to dealing with the affected informal settlements, it fails to meet the basic needs of the beneficiaries. Such basic needs include, among other things, access to employment opportunities, access to public facilities such as health care, education and others. One of the recommendations highlighted in this study is that holistic development approach should be emphasised to avoid the marginalisation of the project beneficiaries. In conclusion, some of the major challenges when implementing the programme have been mentioned, which include among other things, beneficiaries high unemployment rate, excessive distances between areas of economic opportunities and places of residence and lack of holistic development approach in the implementation of the programme.