WOODLANE VILLAGE

DESCRIPTION
  • The third location in the City of Tshwane is the Woodlane Village, also known as Plastic View, located in one of the wealthiest suburbs in the east of the city. 

  • Woodlane Village is an informal settlement with more than 4,000 inhabitants, and flanked by a smaller informal settlement with a few hundred people, known as Cemetery View. These two settlements are right in the middle of the Moreletapark neighbourhood with its sprawling upmarket housing estates, golf villages, suburban shopping malls and private hospital. 

  • Woodlane Village is located on a small portion of a much larger portion of land (70 hectares), owned by local government.

  • Widely contested in 13 court cases, there is now a development forum established, bringing together representatives from all the competing interests, to imagine a possible integrated and well-managed future, without displacement. 

  • We have been involved in this area over many years, rather informally, supporting the efforts of community leaders and community activists in seeking secure tenure for residents of the informal settlement. 

  • Currently, our engagement here is threefold: 

    • Firstly, we have been friends of the leaders of the informal settlement, being present and in solidarity with them, when it was required. 

    • Secondly, we regard this area as a classroom for study, action and reflection, but also to document – as urban witnesses – the unfolding process, from a legal, socio-economic, theological, urban planning, spatial and housing perspective.

    • Thirdly, as a result of our relationship with the informal settlement leadership, and the rich opportunity this site offers for transformational urban development, we are more expressly involved in the sub-forum dealing with urban development, land and sanitation, tasked to facilitate a participatory processes considering the long term integration of this settlement into the suburb.”

 

Features 

  • An informal settlement of more than 4,000 residents, surrounded by gated communities, a mega-church, private hospital, golf estate and shopping mall, and in proximity of a smaller informal settlement of a few 100 people 

  • 12 court orders let to the current situation of the Village, with question marks about its future

Question 

How can an informal settlement be integrated – sustainably and well – into an established middle- and higher-income neighbourhood, using vacant public land? 

Research actions 

  • Documenting actions taken, as part of a Status Quo report

  • Participating in the Woodlane Village Informal Settlement Forum, focusing on urban land and development, and the viable inclusion of the informal settlement into future developments of the area

  • Supporting leadership of the Forum and the informal settlement where required

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