With great pleasure CORC ‘s annual report looks back on an event-filled 2012-2013 which set the scene for community mobilisations, beginning and continuing partnerships with government, valuable developments on urban sustainability and our documentation strategies. However, the past year was also marked by the effects of the global financial crisis which were acutely felt by urban poor communities in the form of rapid urbanisation and a continuing lack of government service delivery. By supporting urban poor informal settlements CORC supports communities in building a “platform of the urban poor”.
In this report outlines an overview of CORC’s general activities and supportive role to its alliance partners, the Informal Settlement Network (ISN) and the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP) both of which are social movements involved in community-led upgrading processes. You will get an impression of dynamics around community savings, community mobilisations, enumerations, international events and exchanges. Please note that detailed project reports can be found in the separate publication, Masikhase: Community Upgrading Finance Facility (CUFF).
In addition to comments from our regional offices and a financial overview, the report also contains updated developments on our existing partnerships and new working relationships with government. Partnerships with local governments include the City of Cape Town, Stellenbosch Municipality (mature partnerships), City of Joburg Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Midvaal Municipality (partnerships in progress), Breedevalley and Drakenstein Municipalities (signs of potential working relationships).
“We know that when the poor are not involved in development decisions they will care less about their surroundings or even use their initiative to resist paying for their services. our new approach means we will build partnerships with communities, and to give them ‘voice and choice’ in the design and construction of settlements that build sustainable livelihoods and can fulfil their needs” Deputy minister of Human Settlements, Ms. Zoe Kota-Fredericks”
As CORC supports communities making meaningful alternatives to change the structural causes of informality we aim to shift the focus of service delivery from government to partnerships and collaborative relationships. This year, our work with organised communities, academic and non-governmental partners therefore centred on realising issues of urban sustainability. Some of these include the Solid Waste Network, partnering with Habitat for Humanity South Africa in establishing a city fund or introducing solar electrification in informal settlements.
The report outlines some of the successes and challenges of building coalitions of the urban poor in the contexts of landlessness, homelessness and urban poverty. We wish to congratulate our community partners for the number of awards and nominations for projects delivered, the hard work of collecting data and the patience of building partnerships.
CORC wishes to thank international donor organisations for believing in the vision and supporting the work of the SA SDI Alliance. These donors include:
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: (“Aligning communities and government”)
- Ford Foundation (“Promoting Transparent Effective and Accountable Government”)
- Charles Steward Mott Foundation (“General Purposes” and “Learning through Practice”)
- Comic Relief (Ikhayalethu grant)
- Misereor (“Building partnerships between communities and local authorities”)