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    A Place to Live
    (Johannesburg Citizens' Native Housing Committee, 1953) Reeves, Ambrose (Right Reverend, Bishop of Johannesburg))
    Admittedly this pamphlet does not give a complete picture of African housing, for quite deliberately it seeks to stress in pictorial form the dark and tragic aspects of a problem which clamours for a solution. In any case the present shortage of housing is so grave that it would be disastrous if any of us sought to evade the issue raised in these pages by trying to shelter behind what has to be achieved some years ago. Rather we need to have sufficient courage to face frankly the facts that this pamphlet reveals.
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    From dominance to diversity in international cooperation: a view from South Africa
    (NA-ERUS. Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South., 2003-05-17) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Critical research in the 1970s and 1980s in South Africa played an important role in exposing the implications of repressive and discriminatory urban policy and management. This critical urban research movement, which also engaged with approaches for a post-apartheid city, was subsequently replaced by a neo-liberal turn in urban research, largely informed by dominant international research thrusts. Within this context, what is the role of international cooperation? The paper takes a critical look at north-south urban research initiatives involving research in South Africa, to which the author has had direct exposure. The paper also examines the changing conditions under which local research funding is made available in South Africa, using the example of current restructuring of research funding at Wits University, Johannesburg. The paper argues that these conditions broadly follow the (neo-liberal) institutional trends set by the Anglophone northern counterparts. Should north-south cooperation reinforce this trend? The paper highlights the critical need for publication and dissemination in the south, of local as well as international research. Access in the south to academic literature, and the publication and dissemination of local research, are cruc ial in order for southern researchers to effectively cooperate. The paper points to the imbalance of facilities and resources in many north-south cooperations. Linked to this is the critical question as to where and by whom the research agenda is set. Far from assuming that research on South African urban issues is best initiated, conducted and funded locally, the paper argues that value is added when researchers from different regions apply different questions to the same problematic. Here the example is used of a group of young international and local PhD researchers addressing a similar urban problematic in South Africa, but with different theoretical approaches depending on the region of their academic home. The complexity of the unevenly developed urban south requires many different questions to be asked. The paper argues that ideally north-south cooperation should lead to enrichment in terms of the research questions and the theoretical approach, rather than imposing one dominant framework as is often the case.
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    Comment on General Notice 1851 of 2006 - Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill 2006
    (, 2007) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    In 2006, she co-edited a book (UCT Press) titled ‘Informal Settlements: A Perpetual Challenge?’ which seeks to promote in situ upgrading of informal settlements in South Africa and to provide a wide understanding of the complexities involved in this, also in relation to housing rights. The book was welcomed by the Department of Housing. The comment below draws on this experience. While identifying positive aspects of the amendment, it also points out where the proposed amendment is a departure from spirit and principles of the Breaking New Ground programme which introduced informal settlement upgrading, embracing a tangible operationalisation of povery alleviation and of the right to housing for desperately poor and under-housed people in South Africa.
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    The struggle for in situ upgrading of informal settlements: Case studies from Gauteng
    (Development Southern Africa, 2009) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Department of Housing released a new Informal Settlement Upgrading Programme in 2004, which makes in situ upgrading of informal settlements possible with minimal disruption to residents’ lives. To date, the new programme is not necessarily the municipalities’ choice when intervening in an informal settlement. This paper presents the case of three informal settlement communities in Gauteng province, which have struggled for recognition of basic principles of the informal settlement upgrading programme. Their requests have been met with great reluctance from local government. Through these cases, the paper seeks point to some of the critical re-skilling and capacity building areas that are necessary before local government can role out the informal settlement upgrading programme at scale.
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    Enumeration as a grassroot tool towards. Independent report of a peer evaluation mission to Kisumu 2-4 October 2007.
    (GLOBAL Landtool Network, UN Habitat, 2008) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) recognises community-based slum enumeration as a potential grassroots mechanism tool which could assist in achieving its objectives relating to land management and tenure security. This paper analyses a community-based slum enumeration exercise in Kisumu in relation to these objectives. The enumeration was carried out in Kisumu as part of a city-wide slum upgrading initiative. The paper draws on a peer evaluation that included interviews with slum upgrading stakeholders as well as community-based focus group discussions, mainly with enumerators. The paper finds that coordination of the slum upgrading initiative, and beyond this of wider and often competing city initiatives, is imperative for a grassroots enumeration exercise to link up effectively with the planning authorities and for grassroots trust to be sustained for ongoing verification and updating of the enumeration data. Key findings towards securing tenure include the importance of various forms of mobilisation that accompany enumeration, and of the informal and formal knowledge generation that results from the enumeration process.
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    Enumeration as a Grassroot Tool Towards Securing Tenure in Slums: Insights from Kisumu, Kenya
    (Urban Forum (2009) 20:271–292, 2009) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Community-based slum enumeration was carried out in Kisumu from 2005 to 2008 as part of a city-wide slum-upgrading initiative. This paper analyses this enumeration exercise particularly in relation to land management and tenure security. The paper draws on a peer evaluation that included interviews with slumupgrading stakeholders as well as community-based focus group discussions, mainly with enumerators. The paper finds that, for a grassroots enumeration exercise to be successful, grassroots trust must be sustained for ongoing verification and updating of the enumeration data and the enumeration must link up effectively with the planning authorities. Broader preconditions are the coordination of the slumupgrading initiative, and beyond this, of wider and often competing city initiatives. Key findings towards securing tenure include the importance of various forms of mobilisation that accompany enumeration and of the informal and formal knowledge generation that results from the enumeration process.
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    From ‘‘contravention of laws’’ to ‘‘lack of rights’’: redefining the problem of informal settlements in South Africa
    (Elsevier, 2004) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Informal urban land occupation in South Africa is treated in a technocratic manner, consistent with the policy of orderly urbanisation introduced in the 1980s. This approach focusses on the contravention of laws governing property and land use, and accordingly results in most cases in evictions and relocations. A new mandate of the national Department of Housing is to eradicate the phenomenon of urban informal settlements in the next 15 years. This mandate gives new justification to the deterministic approach of eviction and relocation within the government’s standardised capital subsidy programme for housing delivery. Legislation has been tightened to enable the repression of new informal land occupations. The recent housing strategy proposal for Johannesburg, which advocates a zero tolerance approach to informal land occupations, remains largely undisputed. However, the media has often sided with the urban poor in recent cases of forceful eviction. This paper argues for a new paradigm, based on the recognition of the infringement of constitutional rights that is enabled by informality. Far from seeing informal settlements as a solution to the housing problem, it draws attention to the multiple levels of exploitation that are common to residents of informal land occupations. A socially compatible approachto intervention is suggested. This starts with mechanisms to protect residents against the infringement of their constitutional rights, rather than acting on their contravention of property laws.
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    Housing Rights in South Africa: Invasions, Evictions, the Media, and the Courts in the Cases of Grootboom, Alexandra, and Bredell
    (SpringerLink. Urban Forum, 2003) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Low-income residents in urban South Africa have made use of the courts to fight for what they perceive as their democratic right to a home in the city. Despite a democratic Constitution since 1996, with a Bill of Rights that includes socioeconomic rights, such as adequate housing (albeit with a proviso), there is little consistency in the outcome of the route of access to the city through the judiciary. Over the past two years, three eviction-related cases that involved court applications by illegal occupiers for short periods dominated the news in South Africa, and are frequently referred to in the media. Each had a different outcome, none of them satisfactory, highlighting the limitations of the judiciary as a route to democratic access to the city.The cases discussed in this paper raise the question as to the role of courts in a democratic, yet unequally developed country like South Africa.
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    Challenges Facing People-Driven Development in the Context of a Strong, Delivery-Oriented State: Joe Slovo Village, Port Elizabeth
    (Springerlink. Urban Forum, Vol. 17, No. 1, January-March 2006., 2006-01) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    The Joe Slovo settlement process on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape was, in the first instance, about securing land and housing for a large number of desperate people, living in intolerable conditions that are now internationally referred to as ‘slums’ (see UN-Habitat, 2003) (Figure 1). In the international context of the Millennium Development Goal 7 Task 11 to significantly improve the lives of 100 million ‘slum’ dwellers by 2020 (United Nations, 2000), and the South African response through a new human settlement plan (Department of Housing, 2004), the Joe Slovo case gives important insight into the complex interface between organised low-income households, in this case members of the Homeless People’s Federation, actively engaging in mproving their living conditions, and government’s housing delivery and urban governance machinery.
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    Housing for the poor? Negotiated housing policy
    (Elsevier, 2001) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    Official discussion and negotiation on housing policy in South Africa was closed in 1994 with the launch of the new Housing White Paper. Contradictions in this policy between housing procedure and delivery target have limited its relevance to the poorest sector in society. The paper shows how these tensions between product and process are an outcome of negotiated policy-making, in which the attempt was to combine the dominant position of the private sector for the commodi"cation of housing, with people-centred housing procedures advocated by the democratic movement. In the second term of ANC government, the housing ministry, aware of some of the limitations of its policy, stated its intention to review the housing policy. This has led to renewed discussion. The paper traces shifts and continuities in recent positions on housing in South Africa. It traces their emergence from within the democratic movement including labour and community or civic organisation, the more recent Homeless People's Federation/People's Dialogue alliance, and the private sector with its in#uential Urban Foundation and subsequent policy research institutes. The paper argues that shifts in housing "nance have largely ignored the needs of the poorest sector in society. Further, the inadequately integrated location of subsidised development for the poorest remains unchallenged. The perception of local government merely as implementer in a centralised programme limits the ability to address local realities, also imposing bureaucratic constraints on community-based construction. In addition, an evasive discourse on squatting does not lend itself to the formulation of mechanism of intervention oriented around the needs of the poor. These limitations in addressing poverty through housing policy should inform future research on shelter in South Africa. 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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    Policy Aspects for Informal Settlements in South Africa
    (Paper presented at the South African National Housing Summit, Gallagher Estate, 2003-11-19) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    No doubt this conference will draw much attention to the important moment we’re approaching in South Africa, of having spent one decade building a new democracy. Indeed, various spheres of government are reviewing their achievements and evaluating the effects of their policies. While honoured on 6 October 2003 with a World Habitat award for its phenomenal housing delivery over this decade, national Department of Housing is also concerned about shortcomings in the delivery, which have come to the fore. The Department speaks of an emphasis on quality, which will mark the second decade of South African democracy, with a shift to a “demand-driven, supply-negotiated” policy (Vawda, 2003). In this paper I ask what this may mean in terms of a policy response to the informal settlement situation.
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    Settlement informality: The importance of understanding change, formality, land and the informal economy.
    (Groupement de Recherche Internationale (GDRI). Workshop on Informality, Wits University. Johannesburg, 2008-07-03) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    It is widely acknowledged that informal settlements and the processes that lead to their formation and perpetuation are poorly understood (see Environment and Urbanization, 1998; Roy, 2005; Smit, 2006; Misselhorn, 2008). In this paper I attempt to reflect on critical aspects of informality which my exposure to the current shifts and dynamics in the struggle for relevant informal settlement policy and intervention in South Africa have revealed. I start by reviewing the terms applied to settlement informality in South Africa and the focus of their meaning. I trace continuity to date of the conceptualisation that was inherent in apartheid policy, as well as recent shifts that emanate from eradication drives, which in turn reinforce a full circle back to apartheid thinking and practice on informal settlements. I then address what I perceive as important concepts in understanding settlement informality in the South African context – the continuous process of change, the centrality of land and the changing relationship to land, a much ignored formality that is present in informal settlements, and the interaction between settlement informality and the informal sector, particularly in relation to land. I use this to challenge the predominantly quantitative understanding of settlement informality on which city authorities base their intervention. Throughout, I use examples of informal settlements, debates and processes that I have been exposed to, not through structured research, but through active involvement in a small but growing network against repressive informal settlement eradication in South Africa spanning grassroots social movements, their housing rights lawyers and concerned academics, NGOs and practitioners.
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    'Slum' Upgrading and 'Slum' Eradication under MDG Seven Target Eleven
    (University of Rhodes. Sociology., 2008) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    The modest MDG target on improving the lives of ‘slum’ dwellers occupies a complex and in some ways contradictory terrain. This chapter reviews the usage of the term ‘slum’ and its adoption into the Millennium Development Project. The slogan ‘Cities Without Slums’, which accompanies the target, has led to an initially unintended emphasis in official communication of the target. In order to explore the deviation between the norm that cities should not have ‘slums’ and the actual MDG target, the chapter reviews the role of norms and targets within the UN. Turning in more detail to MDG Seven Target Eleven, it compares the origin of Target Eleven with the trajectory that led to the adoption of the other MDG targets. Due to the World Bank’s role in the formulation of Target Eleven and its slogan, the chapter reviews World Bank urban policy at the time, as well as the World Bank’s subsequent shift to more directly embracing the urban poor and promoting informal settlement upgrading. The position of the urban economy and urban competitiveness within the World Bank’s policy of 2000 is relevant to understanding the coining of the slogan ‘Cities Without Slums’, as well as its utility to city beautification initiatives driven by the urban competitiveness agenda. The World Bank’s subsequent refinement in urban policy is not paralleled in high level
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    Does recent litigation bring us any closer to a right to the city?
    (University of Johannesburg, Workshop., 2009-10-30) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    "...the right to the city that our Constitution strives for is one of an equal right to the city. This has important components - Equal right to participate in decision-making - Equal right to access and use the city - Equal right to basic services"
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    Ruling in Abahlali case lays solid foundation to build on
    (Defend Freedom - Democracy under Attack, Church Land Programme, Pietermaritzburg. 04 November 2009, 2009-11-04) Huchzermeyer, Marie
    ABAHLALI baseMjondolo hit the headlines recently. First, attacks on Durban’s Kennedy Road informal settlement drew a ground swell of newsworthy international condemnation, including a statement from US intellectual Noam Chomsky. A week later, media reported on the outcome of Abahlali’s Constitutional Court appeal on the KwaZuluNatal slums act. What is Abahlali? And was anything really noteworthy about the ruling?