Services and Facilities
The key document used as background to this section is Engineering services report (it's a 4.3 MB PDF document)
Another important consideration in the preparation stage is to make sure that there is sufficient bulk water, sewerage, electricity and road infrastructure connecting the piece of land to the municipalities infrastructure.
The municipality has a long list of priority bulk infrastructure projects it wants to implement and the bulk infrastructure for the piece of land identified may not be on their priority list.
If the area is to be developed incrementally, some of this bulk infrastructure may only be needed in future when the services are upgraded in future.
When people move onto the land there should also be some basic services that households can use for water and toilets.
This could for example, take the form of communal standpipes every 200 meters, and a VIP latrine for every 4 households.
It’s important to design these services with possible future upgrading in mind, like for example putting in bigger diameter water pipes so that the system can accommodate more water usage in future.
A plan needs to be in place for how these services will be managed and maintained.
If possible it is preferable that some form of basic shelter or community hall be provided even before people move on to the land. This space can provide a space from which to organise future upgrading and household and neighbourhood improvement activities.
These spaces can start off very rudimentarily, as a shelter under a tree or a converted container. Plans need to be agreed on with the community and land owners (e.g. municipality) as to how the space will be managed and maintained.
Schools and clinics and other social facilities and services can also start off with, for example a mobile clinic that comes once a week, or a few temporary rooms and converted containers that can be used as classrooms and offices.
Every effort needs to be made to make sure that these facilities and services are provided as early as possible in the settlement development process, so local inhabitants do not suffer from lack of access. The incremental settlement approach is based on the assumption that government needs to focus its effort in the initial phases of a project on ensuring that facilities and services are provided that households would not be able to provide for themselves. This means that funding should not be channelled so much to the provision of top structures but rather should be used to provide for social and other facilities and services.
Facilities should be located in places that contribute to the creation of quality public spaces. Limited resources can be used to provide solid paving so areas are not muddy when wet and have good lighting so they are safe at night.
The governments housing subsidy can also be used to upgrade water, toilets, roads and storm water. Separate funding is available to upgrade the public and private electricity
Communal standpipes, for example, can be upgraded to water per house, communal pit latrines can be upgraded to waterborne toilets per house (if the bulk infrastructure is in place), and gravel roads with unlined storm water drains can be upgraded to tar with lined storm water drains. The environmental features of these services need to be considered, so for example, rainwater tanks could be provided, and waterborne systems can feed into reed beds for sewerage treatment.
It is likely to be much cheaper to upgrade an incremental settlement that has started as a Managed Land Settlement project on a greenfield piece of land then if the area is being upgraded from an existing illegal and unplanned settlement. There will not be as many bends in the roads and pipes.
The bulk services may also need to be upgraded, so for example, maybe some form of composting toilets had to be used in the basic development phase as bulk sewerage was not yet available, but over time as the municipal waterborne sewerage system expands the area may fall within the municipal outfall sewer system.
The basic facilities provided during the basic product phase can be upgraded over time, both in what they look like and how they are managed.
Social facilities can be upgraded from a roof on poles structure that is used as a community hall and meeting space, to a more formal multipurpose hall, managed by the municipality for community meetings, school and other social functions. The upgrading of economic facilities can involve, for example, the upgrading of converted containers that were used as a housing support centre and builders yard, to a more formal brick structure that is used as a small business support centre and ‘incubator’.
Serious consideration needs to be given to the development of multipurpose facilities, so that limited resources can be shared between departments. This does however pose management and maintenance challenges. The use of mobile facilities and services can also be considered so resources are shared between communities over time.
The bulk planning exercise would have ensured that sufficient space set aside in new developments for schools, clinics and other social facilities. The upgrading of schools may involve upgrading from container and temporary classrooms to brick and mortar schools. The clinic may be upgraded from a mobile clinic to a formal clinic building and health service.
You can find links to additional information related to this topic by following the following links:
- Thought Piece: basic services
More still to come.
If you have any comments, questions, thoughts or suggestions for additional information please share them with us by using the comments page.