How Much Money is Allocated to Informal Settlement Upgrading in Cape Town, South Africa? An Analysis of the City’s Draft Budget for 2017/2018

Apr 28, 2017

April 2017 | by Carlene Van der Westhuizen

The most recent statistics from South Africa’s 2011 Census show that 20.5 percent of the City of Cape Town’s households live in informal housing. Specifically, 13.5 percent of households are spread across 204 informal settlements, while 7 percent live in informal backyard dwellings. These informal settlements generally lack adequate municipal services and community infrastructure to ensure a decent quality of life for the people living in them.

As indicated in a previous brief, informal settlement upgrading in South Africa is guided by the national Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme. Efforts to upgrade informal settlements, including ensuring that this program is properly implemented, is the constitutional responsibility of local government. The analysis presented in this brief seeks to identify how much the City of Cape Town has allocated directly to informal settlement upgrading in its 2017/18 draft budget.

While the exact share of the budget allocated to informal settlement upgrading depends on the lens used to analyze it, the evidence presented in this brief shows that the City of Cape Town allocates a relatively small share of its 2017/18 draft budget to informal settlement upgrading.