By Jeff Thomas (on behalf of CORC)
The SANPAD (South African /Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development), which has since 1997 been financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been financing research, research capacity building initiatives and research support activities over the past 10 years. The SANPAD Phase 3 (2008-2013) programme will contribute to the South African National research and development goals and agenda, the goals of the South African Higher Education Sector and the goals of the Royal Netherlands Embassy (herein after referred to as the Embassy) on research and development. The IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) partnership and the new initiatives were introduced to ensure the success of the informing global policy deliberation from a Southern perspective.
Patience, Phumelele and Jeff from the CORC Durban office attended a workshop run by SANPAD which was held to plan for a conference with the title “Rural Migration, Urban Renewal and Slum Clearance – a challenge for mega cities in the South: Development of a Sustainable Settlement Livelihoods Model in Durban/eThekwini” to be held in February 2013. CORC was asked to represent a Civil Society perspective on whether or not there is room for livelihoods in informal settlements. In our presentation we took the opportunity to inform delegates, who comprised mainly eThekwini Municipal officials as well as local academics and academics from the Netherlands, who have been working in Brazil, and some from India, on the SA SDI Alliance and particularly the work of ISN in informal settlements, as well as to provide some insights into the more informal types of livelihoods.
We also made the point that community participation in enumeration and re-blocking activities could provide those who carried out this work to develop a level of skills that they may be able to use in other contexts to generate some income for themselves. Our participation has led to a number of further useful contacts in the Municipality as well as a possibility for collaboration between SA SDI Alliance and SANPAD, if there is a feeling that this would be of benefit to us. Jeff was asked to be part of a team tasked with planning for the proposed conference in February, particularly with respect to CORC assisting the academics, both local and international, with links into local informal settlements.