By Blessing Mancitshana, CORC
Europe is an informal settlement located in Gugulethu township, it is situated along N2 road bordering with Barcelona and Kanana. This settlement is only made up shacks as the only shelter for housing, business and religious purposes. Like any other informal settlement in the country, the community is under the leadership of committee which oversees all the issues concerning their settlement.
The enumeration exercise, which ended on 10 October 2010, was conducted only by the volunteers who took part in different aspects of the whole exercise. These were: data collection, manual data capture, measuring and mapping. As a norm of community driven socio economic surveys, the enumerators volunteered from a number of informal settlements around Cape Town who are in the same predicament as Europe. The community leadership was part of the whole exercise, being helpful in mapping the enumeration road map.
A lot of work was done during the preparation of the enumeration especially to get people to understand the main motive and objective behind the enumeration. Initially, many people were hopeful that the community enumeration survey would lead to housing delivery. The objective of the enumeration was later decoded by the entire community after a series of meetings between the community and the Informal Settlement Network enumeration team. The main motive of the enumeration was outlined as the need to create a platform which will benefit the community in terms of planning and implementation of the basic service delivery and other forms of incremental development. Above all, it was highlighted that the enumeration will help bring in the community to participate in planning and strategising for the development of their settlement together with the city government.
This enumeration was taken as a pilot in terms of mapping, and a new way of mapping was implemented for the first time here in South Africa. This is a GIS related mapping but done by the community members who posses little or no GIS cartographical skills. This is a method which is being used in Kenya by the communities when they do their mapping. Many people had long thought that the method will take away the community’s participation in the process. But this has proven to not be the case, as much of the work is still done by the community members. During the enumeration, a team comprising of three people was responsible for “manual data capturing” — that is, capturing the information as the completed forms came in with data collectors. This is a method also borrowed from Swakopmund, Namibia. Results are made available just a while after the data collection process.
The community is now developing a plan to begin working with the municipality under the pilot program.