By Kwanele Sibanda, CORC
Meriteng is an informal settlement that was initially mobilised on the 28th of June 2011 during an exchange with ISN/FEDUP representatives from Durban and Cape Town. The exchange led by Patrick Magebhula was a form of support to the Gauteng region as well as encouraging or showing the importance of making follow ups. Meriteng informal settlement falls under Johannesburg (Region G) and it is situated between Finetown and Lenasia South. Information gathered from the recently held meeting suggests that the settlement has been in existence for over fifteen years as there are fifteen year old children who were born on the same piece of land.
ISN Chairman Patrick Magebhula explaining the benefits of a community survey
Upon entry into the community on the first day of mobilisation, it was asked if the community has a committee. The mobilising team was informed that it is only the CPF that is in existence and is active. Two CPF members that were available were briefed about the work of the alliance. As they were interested, they requested for a formal meeting with the entire CPF members. The meeting was set and held on the day that followed at sunset. As the CPF members expressed interest, they requested for some time in order for them to inform their community and then invite the mobilising team to address the community.
The CPF members organised the meeting with the community and it was held on the 3rd of July 2011 (during Patrick Magebhula’s second visit). After giving the background of the alliance as well as emphasizing the necessity of equipping the community with its own information, enumeration was identified as the starting point for the development process. The starting date was set as the 30th of July 2011, however for a few days for preparatory reasons. In addition to the above, the community suggested that the CPF members act as the facilitators/coordinators of the on-going engagements. It was added that the findings from the enumeration will determine the type of committee to be formed.
On the 13th of July 2011, a meeting was held with the CPF members and it was an engagement on enumeration preparation. The meeting was led by enumeration team members that include Lucky (Limpopo) and Thato (Orange Farm). Other ISN/FEDUP members that were present were Alina, Ayanda and Alfred. Below are the key issues that came out of the meeting:
- Reminder of community’s request for enumeration
- Explanation of procedure for conducting enumeration
- Highlighting of needs assessment
- Need for community to be enumerated to take charge of the enumeration with support from the ISN team
- Explained the data capture process and how the results can be used
The final arrangement was made as following:
- 5th – 11th of July 2011. 5th– day of arrival for the enumeration team, 6th – day of enumeration workshop, 7th – 11th of July 2011 shall be the days of enumeration.
- 20 Gauteng ISN/FEDUP members
- 16 Meriteng representatives
- 10 from other regions
- Stationary and questionnaires required
- Meeting to inform the Ward Councillor about the enumeration
- A tent has to be hired for the workshop since there is no community hall
- Representative from the documentation team
Since the enumeration of Silahliwe will start before that of Meriteng, representatives of Meriteng have already been invited to take part so that by the time their enumeration starts, they will already have members with knowledge of the exercise.