- Launch Date
Kwa-Mathambo informal settlement is located on a piece of private land just off Chris Hani Road on the North Coast Road in an area called Avoca.
- Implementing Organizations
Kwa-Mathambo community, ISN, CORC
- Basic Funding Details
- Contact Details
Ntodeni Dengo – community leader
Patience Phewa – CORC
Kwa-Mathambo informal settlement was established in 1991. The first settler was a man who worked as a gardener for an Indian man, the owner of the land. When his contract job ended he had to move from his employer’s premises and he decided to build a shack in the backyard of the private property. This happened under the consent of the owner. Today 565 people are living in Kwa-Mathambo in 294 different shacks. It is believed that three different private owners own the occupied land. The settlement is built against a steep hill on a relative small piece of land and the shacks are built against and sometimes even on top of each other. At the lower section of the settlement, where there are a number of formal (albeit derelict) structures, which face Chris Hani road.
Kwa-Mathambo has been earmarked for “emergency services”, a category of basic service provision the eThekwini metro uses to indicate the uncertain future of the settlement, but basic service provision is guaranteed. According to the local leadership, there has been no planning or implementation of significant development projects.
The leadership of Kwa-Mathambo has been active in dialogues with the eThekwini metro, which was set up by the Informal Settlement Network.
Between May and June 2012, the community embarked on enumerating the settlement. The enumeration process is not only crucial to obtain a detailed socio-economic and demographic profile at the household level, but also to mobilize the members of the community for the following steps in the upgrading process. In this way, the community becomes aware of the options available to them: wait for years on the government to build you houses (or face the threat of evictions), or incrementally upgrade the settlement with the real prospect of receiving immediate better quality services. The priorities in the upgrading process for Kwa-Mathambo are sanitation facilities and the improvement of the shacks. A large open sewer produces unpleasant odours, not to mention the health risks.
Kwa-Mathambo is located in ward 22, as is Havelock settlement. The momentum of these two diverse settlements – one deemed to be fit for upgrading (Havelock), and one destined (in the mind of officials) for relocation (Kwa-Mathambo) – have stirred dialogue in the ward, and the councillor is often lobbied with requests for ISN meetings.
The actual reblocking project is yet to start. Please revisit this section as it will be continually updated once upgrading starts. Note: In November 2012, the community initiated a grey water project. Read more here.
The objectives of the in-situ upgrading of Kwa-Mathambo are two fold: 1) to address the problems of overcrowding, which is a conducise environment for runaway shack fires and flooding, and 2) to create a precedence in the eThewkini metro and demonstrate the effectiveness of people-driven development.
As communities are the seeing the potentials of the reblocking programme, they are requesting ISN for similar assistance. However, due to resource constraints and funding constraints (currently CORC subsidises 80% of the new materials in the roll-out of reblocking projects. However, this does not restrain ISN to continue mobilizing communities around commonly-faced issues. The ISN’s ambitious attempt to profile all informal settlements in the metropolitan area is creating a significant bottom-up mass.
- Projected Outcomes
To improve living conditions in Havelock settlement, and to create a precedence in eThekwini.