SOUTH AFRICAN INFORMAL CITY EXHIBITION
THE SA INFORMAL CITY SEMINAR OUTCOMES
The South African Informal City seminar is organised in collaboration with the Johannesburg Development Agency, SA Cities Network, Neighbourhood Development Programme (National Treasury), the National Research Foundation and the South African Planning Institute.
The goal is to set up a platform for discourse around informality and sustainable city development, and to further cooperation, information sharing and positive action between decision makers, practitioners, academics and civil society involved in this field.
The one-day programme covers four themes:
The first session on ‘Place’ will be an engagement on the nature and roles of informal settlements, general lessons and policy reflections. The debate will include some interesting insights into what role informal settlements and property markets play; what works or doesn’t work about them, and for whom; what our formal systems (public, private, development) could do to effectively engage in terms of solution seeking; what some future directions/possibilities are; what are emerging research/policy/action questions, and for whom.
- Sarah Charlton, University of the Witwatersrand
- National Development Plan: Vision for 2030
Prof Philip Harrison, SA Research Chair in Development Planning & Modelling
- Informal settlements in Johannesburg: How much do we know?
Marie Huchzermeyer, Aly Karam and Miriam Maina, University of the Witwatersrand
- Kya Sands Informal Settlement: Vulnerability and Resilience
Dylan Weakley, University of the Witwatersrand
- Study on potential interventions in the small scale rental market
Stacey-Leigh Joseph, National Department of Human Settlements
There is a need to ask questions about how best to make space and provide infrastructure for pedestrians and other non-motorised transport modes in our cities. Tanya Zack will discuss her research about the trolley-pushers who are a key part of the waste recycling industry in Johannesburg; and Andrew Wheeldon, from Benbikes, will share his experience of promoting cycling as a mode of transport in Cape Town.
This seminar also presents an opportunity to think about South African cities in the future where movement systems are more sustainable and integrated. Richard Dobson from ‘Working for Warwick’ will explain how this strategic transit hub in Durban has included informal sectors of the economy through participative development and operating strategies. Finally, Thabisho Molelekwa, spokesperson for the SA National Taxi Association, will share the taxi industry’s experience of shifting from informal and unregulated operational models to more formal transport services like the Rea Vaya bus concession in Johannesburg and the Santaco airline that is operating a service from Johannesburg to the Eastern Cape.
Each presenter will discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by informal movement systems, and share experiences and lessons about how to take advantage of opportunities and confront problems in this space.
- Melinda Silverman, University of the Witwatersrand
- MOVEMENT: the Bicycle
Andrew Wheeldon, Bicycling Empowerment Network
- Working and living in Johannesburg: Insights into informal recycling
Tanya Zack, Town planner and researcher
The demand for access to new products and services is going to require innovative response from both public and private sector. Finding strategies to retain spending power and promotion of local business opportunities is central to this open dialogue at the informal city exhibition.
The demand for improved access to transport networks, telecommunication, and basic services such as energy, water and electricity will require new innovations innovative responses from the public sector. Some of the opportunities cited for private sector range from financial services, home upgrading and repairs and a range of lifestyle services.
Panel members will be requested to assist in exploring these emerging opportunities and possible constraints. The following questions are proposed to trigger and guide the debate:
- What are the characteristics of current township economic activities?
- What are possible opportunities going forward?
- What are the current challenges to these opportunities?
- What recommendations can be made to both public and private sector?
- How can these be best communicated?
- Nellie Lester, SA Cities Network
- The Informal/Formal Interface of Investment in Township Areas
Rob McGaffin, Urban Landmark
- Slovo Park: the Innovation of an Economic Urbanism
Michael Hart, Michael Hart Architects & Urban Designers
- The Peoples’ Economy
Edmund Elias, South African National Traders’ Retail Alliance
‘Engagement’ speaks of interaction and relationships that involve collaboration and a sharing of power and control over a project. The hierarchy of engagement spans: being imposed upon – being ignored – consultation – participation – joint decision making – community driven initiatives. It is common cause that development works better when communities are effectively engaged from the outset and, while this may be acknowledged in theory and even written into policy, meaningful engagement rarely happens in practice.
- Why is this the case?
- What can be done about it?
- Are there any cases of engagement in informal urban environments from which we might draw lessons for best practice?
- Steve Topham, National Upgrading Support Programme
- Engagement: Building a Society that Works
Dr Kate Philip, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies