Land use planning for informal settlements : incorporating community-based planning in the local integrated development plan : a case study of Hanipark, Matjhabeng Local Municipality.
Maselwanyana, Gosego L.
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The problem of informal settlement is well established in many urban areas of South Africa and in many other developing countries. Efforts to upgrade urban informal settlements have largely failed due to lack of effective participation in the planning processes which are conventionally driven by professional land use planners. This study was carried with the objectives to determine the causes of failure of conventional land use planning in upgrading informal settlements and the resulting spatial implications. There also sought to investigate current best practices of in-situ upgrading of informal settlements and to use these in formulating a proposed approach that would include community-driven planning into the local integrated development planning. In a case study of the Hanipark Informal Settlement in Matjhabeng Local Municipality, Free State Province key informants identified from the various stakeholders involved in the upgrade process were interviewed in order to establish the causes of failure of the planning processes. Ortho-rectified imagery of 2000 and 2003 were also analysed to establish the spatial trends of the informal settlement during the informal settlement upgrade of the study area. The results showed that the in-situ upgrade of the Hanipark Informal Settlement was largely driven by the Matjhabeng Local Municipality planners using the conventional technical approach with minimum participation of the beneficiary informal settlement dwellers. It was revealed that while the upgrade planning was in progress, new informal dwellers continued to settle. Over a three-year period between 2000 and 2003, the number of informal settlement dwellers increased by more than 1,000 households, increasing settlement density and expanding the area extent of the informal settlement by more than 10 ha. The study results suggest that an adaptation of the current practices centred on the UN_HABITAT procedure could be more successful in informal settlement upgrading. A three-phase approach is proposed to include as the first phase, the formation of a Stakeholders Forum which conducts a land audit, identifies policy instruments and accessible resources and establishes a partnership with the private sector; as the second phase, a land zoning procedure and the establishing of a suitable land tenure framework and carrying out detailed planning and implementation as the third phase.
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