Greg Arde – Durban Moves Its Slum-Dwellers Into Converted Office Buildings

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durbannextcity.org. March 2014. In a high-rise apartment in downtown Durban, Tizzie Gomba surveys her tidy little home with obvious satisfaction. It’s modest, clean and safe. Best of all, it allows the 43-year-old office worker and single mother the opportunity to raise her teenage daughter, Noel, with dignity.
It’s a world away from Gomba’s former dingy flat on a block not far from here.

Most inner-city residents in Durban consider themselves lucky. They don’t live in one of the city’s 500 squatter settlements, the informal favelas that have mushroomed around the city as a crush of rural-to-urban migrants seek jobs in town. The city says there are about 300,000 shacks in Durban, each home to an average of four people, which means over 30 percent of Durban residents live in a shack. Conditions in these slums are appalling. Running water and proper sanitation are scarce. Electricity is illegally connected, leading to frequent electrocutions. Flash floods can wipe out entire settlements overnight.

Read more: http://nextcity.org/slum-dwellers-into-converted-office-buildings

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