By Thandeka Tshabalala (on behalf of CORC)
We live in the urban age where, for the first time the majority of the world population lives in cities. Despite the overwhelming challenges encountered by the urban poor, the aspiration towards altering state-civil society relations, inclusive and integrated pro poor cities lies on the roles of networks organizations and agencies of the poor in bringing about social and political change. The national department of Human settlements aims to upgrade 400,000 well located households in-situ by 2014 and the National Development Plan “vision 2030” calls on government to stop building houses on poorly located land and shift more resources to upgrading informal settlements, provided that the areas are in great proximity to jobs.
This publication articulates the spaces created by communities and local government to make decisions and work together towards the incremental improvement of informal settlements. These new participatory spaces often create conditions for informal settlement upgrading to be more effective and sustainable.The Community Upgrading Finance Facility (CUFF) –Masikase- aims to enhance the agencies and practices of the organized poor by providing a platform and institutional support for communities to engage government more effectively around collaborative upgrading and livelihood projects.