How Much Does Government Spend on Informal Settlement Upgrading in South Africa? An Analysis of Four Cities’ Budgets

July 2017 | by Carlene van der Westhuizen, Albert van Zyl, and Andile Cele, IBP South Africa

The most recent census data indicates that about 63 percent of the South African population already lives in urban centers. The country’s National Development Plan has estimated that continued urbanization will increase this proportion to 70 percent by 2030. South African cities have a backlog in the provision of formal housing to poor people and in most cases they are falling further behind. For this reason informal settlements are growing and informal settlement upgrading is becoming an increasingly pressing policy priority.

This brief describes how four South African metropolitan municipalities — Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the City of Cape Town, the City of Ekurhuleni, and the City of Johannesburg — finance the upgrading of informal settlements. The authors use draft budgets and other supporting documents to specifically identify allocations to in-situ upgrade projects or programs. This approach was taken in order to exclude spending on other kinds of improvements or services to informal settlements.




ibp south africa budget brief four city analysis of financing informal settlements upgrading 2017.pdf

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Carlene van der Westhuizen

Head Research, IBP South Africa, International Budget Parnership

Carlene van der Westhuizen joined the International Budget Partnership in May 2016 after working as a consultant for IBP since October 2014. Based in the Cape Town office, she works as the head of research for IBP’s Catalyst Program in South Africa.  From 2005 to 2013 she worked as a Senior Researcher at the Development Policy Research Unit, based at the University of Cape Town. She also previously worked as a Researcher at IDASA’s Budget Information Service and the Western Cape Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Wesgro). She holds an MA in Economics from the University of Stellenbosch.

Albert van Zyl

Country Manager, South Africa , International Budget Parnership

Albert van Zyl is the International Budget Partnership’s (IBP) South Africa Country Manager. van Zyl joined IBP in 2005 from South Africa where he established and managed the macroeconomic analysis and budget offices in the Western Cape Treasury. Before that he worked at the Budget Information Service (BIS) at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) and directed it from 2000-2002. Most recently he worked as IBP’s Director of Strategy and Learning. Van Zyl holds MA degrees in Politics, Philosophy, and Economy from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Bordeaux, France. He has been published on a range of public finance issues including CSO oversight of budgets, fiscal policy, social service finance, budget transparency, and subnational finance.

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