The BLC2 team made an important presentation to a group of about fifty officials from non-metropolitan municipalities of the Western Cape on the 18th of October at the quarterly Informal Settlement Support Plan (ISSP) Forum. The Western Cape Government’s Department of Human Settlements, the main funder of the BLC2 alongside the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, has for a number of years hosted this forum on all things informal settlements related for municipal officials, practitioners, NGOs, community representatives, and other invited parties.
Informal settlement upgrading is highlighted as a strategic priority for the Western Cape Government, as articulated in its Provincial Strategic Goal 4, to ‘enable a resilient, sustainable, quality and inclusive living environment’. The Provincial Government is committed to improving urban and rural areas through enhanced management of land, an enhanced climate change plan, and better living conditions for all.
The ISSP Forum was formed in 2012 and was originally known as the Western Cape’s National Upgrading Support Plan (NUSP) Forum, but was renamed to the ISSP Forum in 2016/17. As part of the Western Cape Governments’ overarching Integrated Human Settlement Framework, the process to develop the Informal Settlement Support Plan (ISSP) was concluded in 2017. The ISSP is a new framework guiding municipal workers on informal settlement upgrading and is a step towards planning and implementing a number of priority and strategic interventions within informal settlements throughout the Western Cape.
In terms of informal settlement upgrading, the Department will conduct a study to assess the suitability of the long term development of different informal settlements with informal settlement upgrading receiving urgent attention to ensure the implementation of basic services within informal settlements. This study will be underpinned by a strategy that will provide guidance on how to do things differently, more effectively, and more efficiently within the current constraints and factors which include resources, land availabilty, community/ social dynamics and related matters.
During BLC presentation at the October 2017 ISSP Forum, municipal representatives were introduced to the various projects, activities and deliverables of the Better Living Challenge which will run until March 2019. The focus of the BLC’s presentation was on the development of Toolkits for visual and spatial literacy and passive design.