Afesis-corplan 20 years of excellence
October 2012 marked Afesis-corplan’s 20 years of existence. To commemorate this milestone, a two day event consisting of various activities including field visits to some of the areas that Afesis-corplan has worked and a seminar on “smarter land access” was held on October 25th and 26th 2012.
Field Visits to Amalinda and Kei Mouth projects
The celebration kicked off with a trip to Amalinda where Afesis-corplan piloted a 216 unit Housing Cooperative project. This project was one of the first housing cooperative initiatives to be successfully carried out in South Africa. The project aimed to provide people staying in informal areas with adequate housing. A savings co-operative was formed whereby individuals had to save some money to add to the government housing subsidy.
Ronald Eglin the current Programme Manager of Afesis-corplan who was the project Coordinator at that time explained how the project had been implemented over a number of years with the support of the Swedish Co-operative centre. He explained that many lessons had been learnt from the project and a report is available that records some of these lessons:
After the Amalinda site visit the team proceeded to Kei Mouth. In Kei Mouth Afesis-corplan is promoting the concept of LANDfirst or managed land settlement (MLS). The concept of MLS promotes the idea of giving people the land first instead of them waiting for government RDP houses which in most cases takes long to acquire. The concept also capacitates the community to be self-reliant and not to wait for the government to provide them with everything. Currently some of the people allocated land on phase 2 has started to build strong structures instead of “shacks”. For more information on the concept of incremental settlement or LANDfirst visit the following sites:
Seminar: Smarter Land Access
The second day started off with a seminar on ‘Smarter land access’ in East London. The seminar provided an opportunity to share and deliberate on the challenges and opportunities for land access and settlement development. The diverse participants in the room also tried to came up with possible interventions to improve on settlement development. During the seminar civil society organisations shared experiences on accessing land for low income housing.
For Afesis-corplan, of course, the Amalinda Cooperative settlement project and the iCwili phase 2 managed land settlement pilot project provided a lot of lessons to share. Ronald Eglin detailed the experience with settlement development with special reference to the two projects.
Evelyn Benekane shared the Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor’s (FEDUP) experience in accessing land for its members in the Eastern Cape and specifically in East London.
This was followed by Cameron Brisbane sharing Built Environment Support Group’s (BESG) experience in supporting land access projects in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Steve Topham from National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP) presented on government policies and programmes governing settlement development.
For more information about the seminar please click here to access the presentations for the day.
The celebrations were concluded with a gala dinner with invited guests.
During the gala dinner the former Executive Director Fredrick Kusambiza outlined a brief history of Afesis-corplan. Nontando Ngamlana the current Executive Director made a presentation on the future positioning of Afesis-corplan.
A walk through history of Afesis-corplan’s work was displayed as well as a Compact Disk highlighting Afesis-corplan’s work. The CD also consisted of a book entitled ‘NGOs and Change: examining the future role of South African NGOs in a changing environment’ was also attached. The hardcopy of the book will be available beginning of the year 2013.
Special thanks go to our sponsors who made this a memorable occasion.
Kempston Car Rental
Kate Leisure - Osner
Budget Car Rental
U – Rent
Eastern Cape Today
Chelsea Square B&B
Ruliv Chelsea Square B&B
All our Partner organisations
All our seminar guest speakers:
Evelyn Benekane of Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor’s (FEDUP)
Cameron Brisbane of Built Environment Support Group’s (BESG)
Steve Topham of National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP)