Following the successful conclusion of 3 previous contracts with the WCDHS, PEP was appointed by the client to embark on a further ISSP contract in an informal settlement known as Zwelethemba, situated in Worcester in the Western Cape.
Although this appointment does not include an enumeration, it is still multi-faceted and includes the following tasks:
- Establishing community participation structures
- Form a Social Compact
- Sustainable Livelihood and Upgrade Plan
- Stakeholder communication strategy and continuity plan
- Community participatory planning workshops to support incremental upgrading
- Develop a relocation strategy together with the residents
- Capture and count all structures
- Develop a re-blocking strategy with both the residents and municipal officials
PEP successfully concluded this contract at the end of 2022 with a wealth of practical plans and information produced. This led to a groundswell of interest from the community in taking the work forward, from planning and research, into implementation. PEP made sustained efforts to engage both the municipality and province to fund an implementation phase after contract completion. Every effort was made to lobby key officials, with clear costings and plans presented. These approaches fell on deaf ears and the momentum generated was lost.
At the time of writing PEP is working with a coalition of NGOs to kickstart a second phase of the ISSP focused on implementation. A meeting has been secured with the Western Cape Minister of Housing at which PEP plans to submit the upgrading plan for Zwelethemba as an example of a project that can be delivered based on the ISSP work. Such a project would demonstrate new and innovative ways of informal settlement upgrading and set a practical precedent that could be scaled. We hold out hope that the politicians at the highest level will support this proposal and work in Worcester can begin.