Repository logo

Assessing the impact of basic service provision on the use of informal dwellings for income generation, a case study of Cato Crest informal settlement, Durban.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The existing South African housing backlog confronting the residents is daunting. With the current investigations displaying that the backlog is not depleting or not reaching levels anticipated by the democratic government, the stakeholders of the low-income housing sector are facing an immense challenge. Wilkinson (2014) states that the housing backlog is currently estimated at 2.1 million and is increasing at a rate of 178.000 units per year”. Informal settlements are a major challenge for housing practitioners and planners in developing countries. Failure to address residents’ needs may result in political and social unrest (Barry and Ruther, 2005:1). According to Misselhorn (2008), informal settlement dwellers in South Africa confront challenges such as poor infrastructure, limited access to basic services and insecure tenure. According to Mashabela (1990:23), informal settlements in South Africa date back to the early 1980s.One of the reasons for the mushrooming of informal settlements was the establishment of Black municipalities that took control of townships from the previous administration Boards. These municipalities did not have the financial capacity to provide housing. This study used qualitative research method to collect data. The theoretical framework for this study was based on the modernization theory, the basic needs approach, and the housing asset triangle. Interviews were conducted with an eThekwini municipal project manager and questionnaires were conducted from the case study. This study involved the use of both primary and secondary data to obtain a thorough assessment of basic services provision and income generating activities in the Cato Crest area. This research highlights that access to the provision of basic services in the community of Cato Crest is still a challenge, and the community is hoping for solutions that will fasten the delivery of these services. Various recommendations have been made in terms of creating livelihood strategy workshops to help the community by allowing them to start a platform for their income” generating activities and get assistance from the other community members as well as the municipality.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.