See the section below on additional information.
Initiation and management
Many households are living in very poor conditions in existing informal settlements, back yard shacks and overcrowded houses. Many have been waiting years for government to build them a house.
Some households are realising that if they do not try and do something for themselves to address their need for land and housing, they may have to wait even longer.
A few municipalities are also realising that if they do not make some form of interim arrangement that is more organised than land invasion but less comprehensive than an RDP housing project, it will take them many years to address the land and housing needs of people living in their municipality.
A MLS project often starts when a group of households come together to address their need for land and housing. These groups often start off as a lose association that elects a committee to represent their needs. The community can also undertake surveys to determine who wants to be part of the managed land settlement process and begin to understand the income status, household size, skills profile and other features of the community.
Municipalities and government also have to organise themselves to be able to participate in incremental settlement processes. It helps, for example that there is clarity as to which is the lead department in the municipality to drive the process. This leadership position may change as different departments get involved at different stages.
Whoever initiatives the process their needs to be some form of collaboration between some type of community structure and the municipality.
Basic organisation builds on the bulk organisation that occurs during the preparation stage. There is not much difference between bulk and basic organisation. From a community perspective, bulk organisation involves organising to get the land, while basic organisation involves organising to move onto the land.
The community structure can also use this time before people have moved onto the land to send community members on training courses where they can learn skills (like construction and organisation sills) needed during the basic development, self development and upgrading phases.
Aided organisational development
The enthusiasm of the initial phases of getting things going may have decreased slightly by this stage when the reality of the long process of managed land settlement starts to sink in.
Given that MLS is a long process this gives community groups time to also build their own capacity. This includes capacity in how to organise, as well as in understanding the managed land settlement process so the community can make informed choices along the way.
Processes of getting mandates and reporting back to group members can also be worked on. Many problems with development projects occur due to poor communication.
The municipality can also use this time to improve its own internal organisational capacities, by for example getting as many different departments involved in the incremental settlement process.
It is important for the group and municipality to celebrate milestones along the path, like getting planning approval for layout plans, getting funding for basic services, agreeing with municipality on the form that basic tenure will take, etc. and not just wait for celebrate at big milestones like people moving onto the land.
Some groups come together for a particular purpose and then disband when this purpose ends.
Aided local resource mobilisation
Managed land settlement processes rely on the resource inputs from a range of role-players from households, local businesses and government.
It is important not to rely exclusively on government to fund the MLS process. Households can save, role-players with appropriate skills can volunteer their time, local businesses can provide donations and discounts, etc.
Many of these resource mobilising activities, like starting local savings schemes, can be started even in the bulk preparation stage. These funds can be used to show government and others the seriousness and organisational capacity of the group.
Most existing micro loans are geared to adding to an existing house, but innovative products can be developed that look at how local resources can be used to buy the land, undertake feasibility studies, develop plans, put in basic services, build houses in incremental stages (foundations, walls, roof, etc).
Replication and expansion
Most activities outlined in this process relate to following an incremental settlement approach in a single neighbourhood or settlement. This whole process needs to be replicated in many other communities and neighbourhoods. Existing incremental settlement processes can be expanded to incorporate more people and issues like education, health, employment etc.
The lessons from existing incremental processes need to be shared and made available to other communities and municipalities so that those embarking on this process can build on the experiences of those that have been before.
The incremental settlement process as described in this report/ website is just one example of how this process unfolds. The more case studies that are implemented the better we all will become in doing incremental settlement and creating quality environments.
- Thought Piece: Community organising/ basic organisation
You can find links to additional information related to this topic by following the following links:
still to come
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