The efficacy of government strategies to improve informal settlements in Rustenburg local municipality


  • Unathi R. Sishawu University of Zululand, South Africa
  • Jili Nokukhanya N. University of Zululand, South Africa


Informal settlements, Rustenburg local municipality, informal settlement strategies


Various terminologies have been used to define informal settlements. Although definitions differ, they all have one thing in common, they are illegal and lack access to basic services. Nonetheless, the improvement of informal settlements has been a matter of discussion and critically important in recent years. It has been demonstrated that informal settlements are not a problem, but rather a solution to housing delivery shortages not only in South Africa, but worldwide. South African government has responded with a variety of strategies and policies, including Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and Breaking New Ground Initiative (BNG) to upgrade informal settlements. However, despite the existence of these strategies, informal settlements continue to grow and suffer from deplorable conditions. Qualitative approach was used in this article and semi-structured in-depth interviews to investigate the efficacy of government strategies to informal settlements in Rustenburg Local Municipality. Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with eighteen participants, including two municipal officials in Rustenburg Local Municipality. Findings indicate that the strategies implemented to improve informal settlements are ineffective; this was evident from the responses of participants who indicated that these settlements lack access to basic services. The lack of access to basic services in these settlements is a reflection of ineffective strategies. Hence, it is recommended that a review of the strategies that have been implemented will result in greater transformation.