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Yesterday, 3 October 2016, I met with 700 leaders of informal settlements from across the city at the O R Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha, as part of the City of Cape Town’s 2017 – 2022 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) public participation process. It was a very successful meeting, with all Mayoral Committee Members present as well as the relevant Executive Directors.

The IDP is our strategic plan of the City and attempts to address key challenges faced by the city. Essentially, it is the blueprint of our governance for the next five years. As an inclusive and responsible government, we endeavour to consult with as many people as possible. We want residents to be empowered and have a say in the local environment and their daily lived experience in our city.We have identified many stakeholders and through public meetings, focus groups, hearings and the media we plan to reach more people than ever before. We met with the community leaders of some of our biggest informal settlements in order to get their input on how we transform informal settlements. We had representatives from areas such as Khayelitsha, Philippi, Lwandle, Mfuleni and Dunoon.

These informal settlements and townships are features of our city and are where residents need us most. During this administration, we plan to intensify our efforts to improve the lives of those who live in informal settlements. It is for this reason that ‘Mainstreaming basic service delivery to informal settlements and backyard dwellers’ has been identified as one of our 11 strategic priorities.

We have consistently communicated that we are faced with many challenges in delivering services to residents living in informal settlements. Many informal settlements are built in landfill exclusion zones, flooded area exclusion zones, power line buffer zones, water bodies, rail reserves, the Koeberg exclusion zone or on private land. In most of these cases we are precluded from delivering services because of the Municipal Finance Management Act, so we need to find new and innovative ways of delivering services within the confines of the law and hostile environmental factors.

We shared some of our 2016/17 priority projects with these community leaders which will have a direct impact on their lives. For example, the Water and Sanitation Department is spending over R779 million in poorer areas, including for backyarders and informal settlements. R100 million is planned for upgrades to the Zandvliet Wastewater Treatment Works which services Khayelitsha, Monwabisi, Blue Downs, Mfuleni and Delft. A total of R559,7 million will be spent directly on informal settlements alone. This covers the cost of toilet and tap installations and the provision of free water and sewerage.

Some sanitation priority projects include:
· 50 full-flush toilets in Crossroads
· 60 full-flush toilets in Vygieskraal, Athlone
· 120 full-flush toilets in Lotus Park, Gugulethu
· 120 full-flush toilets in Monwood Park, Philippi
· 500 toilets in Pholile, Strand

For the 2016/17 financial year we also plan electrify areas such as Tambo Square, BT Section, OR Tambo, Samora Machel, Kosovo, KTC and Browns Farm.

These are just some of the projects we have planned for the next financial year. This is our city and we all have a role to play. Let’s make progress possible together by adding all our voices to the IDP public participation process.

Residents can submit their input via our brand new electronic survey by visiting or dialling *134*633# to add their voice before 10 October 2016. Residents can also e-mail written submissions to or drop them off at their local library or subcouncil office.

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