oa ESR Review : Economic and Social Rights in South Africa - Application of international law in South African case law and the importance of ratification of the ICESCR : case review
In 2005, the City of Cape Town began implementation of the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) in terms of the Housing Act No. 107 of 1997, in three select areas: Makhaza, Town 2 and Silvertown. These jointly form part of the Silvertown housing project (Beja judgment, para 11, 12). The main objective of the UISP was to 'directly encourage the development of social capital by supporting active participation of communities in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects' (para 60).
One of the fundamental principles of the programme was the empowerment of communities to enable them to assume ownership of their own development and improvement of life. In this particular case, the City relied on the fact that an agreement had been concluded between the community and the City in respect to the enclosure of toilets. However, it is to be understood that such a programme would only have succeeded if the City ensured meaningful participation of the intended beneficiaries.
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