Upgrading of Informal Settlements: An Assessment with Reference to the Application of ‘Breaking New Ground’ in Cape Town and Johannesburg


  • Neil Klug University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Shahid Vawda University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


Informal Settlements, ‘Breaking New Ground’, BNG, South Africa, housing policy


The inadequacy of human settlements in South Africa is manifestly seen in the growth of informal settlements in all major cities and towns. Although there has been a history of informal settlement upgrading this has not been wide spread, nor has it been official policy until ‘Breaking New Ground’ was proclaimed as part of the housing policy of the government in 2004. There are two aspects, among others, that we explore in the state’s response to upgrading of informal settlements. Firstly, the timeous legal recognition of informal settlements and, secondly, the provision of opportunities for stable multiple livelihoods. With reference to the cases of Cape Town and Johannesburg, we contend that one of the initial state interventions in terms of informal settlement upgrading should be to legally recognise the informal dwellers as citizens, and that a sustainable livelihoods approach should be explicitly stipulated and described in policy implementation. 


Download data is not yet available.





Research articles