DISASTER RESPONSE AND RECOVERY IN TWO INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS: A LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERSPECTIVE

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Bethuel Sibongiseni Ngcamu ORCID logo, Malcolm Alan Henworth Wallis ORCID logo

DOI:10.22495/cocv8i3c6p4

Abstract

Informal settlements in urban areas have long been afflicted by disasters and exposed to exploitation by politicians, shacklords, academics, journalists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), tavern owners and government officials. This problem is caused to some degree by limited land for expansion which has resulted in the creation of highly densified and unplanned, irregular settlements using poor, combustible building materials. The purpose of the article is to investigate whether eThekwini Municipality’s strategies are sufficient to respond to and recover from the impact of disasters. The research was undertaken at the Foreman and Kennedy Road informal settlements located in Clare Estate, under Ward 25, in Durban within eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (refer to Annexure 1). These areas are very important politically as they are densily populated and highly contested between political parties and local resistant’s organizations such as Abahlali baseMjondolo. Questionnaires were self-administered to a sample size of 220 of which 140 respondents completed the questionnaires, thereby generating a response rate of 63.6%. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with municipal officials. The findings indicate that 44.3% of the victims of disasters received assistance from NGOs and regard civil society as playing an important role after disasters compared to 7.1% of the responding municipal officials.

Keywords: Disaster Management, Informal Settlements, New Public Management, Abahlali Base Mjondolo

How to cite this paper: Ngcamu, B. S., & Wallis, M. A. H. (2011). Disaster response and recovery in two informal settlements: A local government perspective. Corporate Ownership & Control, 8(3-6), 606-621. http://dx.doi.org/10.22495/cocv8i3c6p4