ResearchTopic “Assessing the quality of life in Informal Settlements in the City ofJohannesburg, focusing on Alexandra informal settlement”. IntroductionInformalsettlements also referred to as slums or squatter camps. The UN Habitat referto Informal settlements as residential areas where dwellers do not havesecurity, the neighbourhood usually lack basic services and cityinfrastructure, houses are of low quality and do not comply with currentplanning and building regulations, these areas are often situated ingeographically and environmentally hazardous areas, where people’s lives couldbe in danger because of the environment they live in, most residents in theseareas are very poor and unemployed or earn less than minimum wage thereforecannot afford adequate housing for their families (Habitat III, 2016). Thestudy aims to investigate the causes, impact and solutions to Informalsettlements around City of Johannesburg in Gauteng Province, and the rural-urban migration, its link to informal settlement. Gauteng Province is one ofthe nine provinces in South Africa, and is defined by 2 of the nation’s largestcities, namely Pretoria and City of Johannesburg; this study will specificallyfocus on Informal settlements in the City of Johannesburg which is one of thecities in Gauteng.
The Province has an area of 18.176 km² with population of12.27 million (Stats SA, 2011). The City of Johannesburg is one of the richestcities in South Africa and Africa as a continent, this city is affectionatelyreferred to as “The city of Gold” or “Jozi Maboneng”, the name “The city ofGold” is influenced by the fact that Gold is the most mined mineral andcontributes a large percentage to the economy of the province and the country.City of Johannesburg is 1 645 km² in Area, and the large majority of populationin this city is black African.
Mining (legally / Illegal) and Industries werethe first economic generators for the city, with most minerals exported (https://joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=257). Thiscity is considered to be the economic hub of the Province. In 2016 Stats SA(community survey) reported 160 889 informal households in the City ofJohannesburg alone. “Studies found that there are quite number of issues thatlead to rural-urban migration such as rural poverty and unemployment” (Chidi,2010).
Studies show that people move from rural area to urban areas in searchfor better opportunities and hope to find good jobs, cities become overcrowdedand cannot accommodate everyone moving in, most people end up in Informalsettlements while they look for jobs, or end up settling in Informalsettlements which are just outside of the city close to the city centre and wherethey are close to transport facilities and workplace, this is convenience sake.Studies also found that eradication of informal settlements is an on-goingprocess that needs to be sped up because of the rate at which South Africanpopulation is increasing. In the study notably is the backlog in housing andservices that has a lot of South African dissatisfied with service delivery andthis is due to a lack of commitment, capacity and experience of officialsmandated to bring development to the area. Recommendation of the study include,increasing of capacity, doing away with corruption, community empowerment, andmonitoring of performance. “There is a direct link between rural urbanmigration and the sprawling of urban Informal settlements.
Johannesburg is amelting pot which requires urgent attention” (Chidi, 2010), there have beenmultiple violent protests because of lack of service delivery caused byincompetence. Aim Theaim of the research is to assess the Quality of Life in Informal Settlements,focusing on Housing and the environment. Objective1.
Toassess the quality of houses in Alexandra Informal settlement 2. Toassess the environmental issues in the settlement 3. Todetermine how the issues (Housing and environmental) affect people living inthe settlement 4. Todetermine what can be done to help address the issues, and improve people’slives ProblemStatement Theproblem being addressed in this study is the low quality of life in informalsettlements.InformalSettlements are known to have very low quality of life, houses are not up tothe standard of living, the environment is much polluted and can cause harm tothose living in the area. In the past couple of years there have been reportsof houses being washed away by storms and heavy rains in informal settlementsleaving families homeless, also reported is the polluted environment where mostpeople have been affected by smoke during winter, and the smell of rubbishlying everywhere in the area. If the government cares about its people, thenthese issues of housing and pollution in informal settlements should beaddressed and sorted.