Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
“Housing is not only a shelter”
About 10 percent of the 49 million South African populations live in urban informal settlements according to the 2001 Census figures. Housing has been an issue of major concern for decades and eThekwini Municipality are getting one step closer to achieving better housing prospects for informal dwellers in the city of Durban and eventually the rest of  SA.

eThekwini Municipality through its MILE programme in partnership with its international partners: the City of Sao Paulo, UCLG, and Metropolis have embarked on a project that focuses around the upgrading of Informal Settlements.

Municipal and international officials have teamed up to enhance the livelihoods of the people who live in informal settlements. A week long workshop hosted by MILE entailed municipal officials from the various sectors within eThekwini working alongside the international delegates to engage and discuss the current case study that officials are working on which is the Welbedhact East Housing Project as well as various site visits to the Welbedhact East area in Chatsworth.

Sao Paulo who is very accomplished in the urban informal settlements sector has agreed to mentor and assist eThekwini officials to achieve the same success.

The UCLG Urban Strategic Planning Commission World Secretariat, Programme Manager, Ms. Sara Hoeflich who attended the workshop commented and  noted the importance of housing. She said, “We need an answer to housing that is feasible. UCLG is opening housing has a field of work. In Africa housing is different the process will need time. Sao Paulo has an approach of how the provision of services is undertaken. We are very happy with bringing together this initiative.”

Ms. Violêta Saldanha Kubrusly a Senior Technical Adviser for the City of Sao Paulo Housing Secretariat highlighted the partnership and its hopes for the present and future.

“We are very thankful to be here. It is a great opportunity to exchange ideas. It has been a very profitable week and we hope to continue to work together in this partnership. We are very much alike in terms of skills. We must know how our forces can work together to reinforce the angle of social empowerment, Housing is not only a shelter,” emphasised Violêta.

The project which is being funded by major partner Metropolis entails a drastic change for the Welbedhact East area. The initiative will not only provide for a safer environment but also enrich the livelihoods of the people who live there with recreational endeavours that are included in the plan.  The expected year for delivery for the project is 2014.

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