Struggle for dignity in Cape Town’s informal settlements: the facts

Data spreadsheets

You can download the spreadsheets below. Please note that the constraints data is at the informal settlement level. All other data is at the pocket level.

Constraints affecting informal settlements

Combined contextual information for informal settlement pockets

Dataset of GPS locations of toilet facilities in the informal settlements

Data Sources

The informal settlement map combines information from different datasets that were obtained from the City of Cape Town in 2015 via access to information requests (PAIA). Constraints - Hard copies of the constraints data were obtained from the City of Cape Town via PAIA.

The Matrix - This is a database developed by the Human Settlements Directorate and contains various contextual data including informal settlement and pocket names, area and structure counts, estimate of household size, and the upgrade category. Obtained via PAIA.

Toilet counts - This is a database held by the Utilities Directorate and contains the GPS coordinates for flush toilets as well as a count of all toilets by location. Obtained via PAIA.

Porta Potty counts - This information is not included in the City’s database for toilet infrastructure. Presumably because the location cannot be pinpointed accurately once distributed. We obtained the numbers and locations from the original tender. Please note that it is likely that there are less porta potties available, due to damage and loss. Obtained via PAIA.

Geocoding the Informal Settlement Pockets

The City has GPS coordinates for flush toilets. We used these to locate the pockets that have full flush toilets and then drew boundaries around the pockets. In cases where no GPS coordinates could be found, it was necessary to refer to a hard copy map of the informal settlements that was received from the City - these boundaries were then geocoded using satellite imagery.

13 pockets could not be located:

Mfuleni InfillsBohlo Bohlo
Mfuleni InfillsStrong Yard
Weltevreden RoadWeltevreden Road
Site C InfillsDT Section 2
Nonqubela InfillsMasikhule
Section 32Section 32
YAB SectionYAB Section 3
City Mission - CrossroadsCity Mission - Crossroads
Atlantis FarmsMeadowvale Farm
Wallacedene InfillsWallacedene 2
Richwood Richwood

Definitions of constraints

These constrains were assigned and defined by the City of Cape Town.

WaterbodiesStructures located in waterbodies
Private landStructures located on private land
Metro roadsStructures located close to metro road
ServitudeStructures located within servitude
Biodiversity core 1Highly irreplaceable, critically endangered Biodiversity Area (land, aquatic or marine habitats)
Biodiversity core 2Biodiversity Area that does not yet have high levels of biodiversity loss, should be protected and restored
Power linesStructures located close to power lines
RailwayStructures located close to railway lines
Near to landfillsStructures located close to landfill sites
Proposed / closed landfillsStructures located in proposed / closed landfill sites
Flood proneStructures located in flood prone area
IRTStructures located in Integrated Rapid Transport land
Noise zones Structures located in airport noise zone >65 decibels
HeritageStructures in protected Heritage site
KoebergStructure within 5km radius of Koeberg


Temporary Toilets layer - We determined this layer by adding all of the temporary toilets together and calculated the percentage of all the toilets installed in a pocket (this is basically all toilets except full flush toilets)

Density layer - we determined the density by dividing the area in hectares by the number of households giving the dwelling per hectare (DHa).

This table shows the City's categorisation of housing density in the left two columns. The third column shows how these categories were grouped for the purpose of this matrix.

A1Occupation permittedCity land. Can be upgraded
Approved projects (UISP, BNG, CRU, etc.) 
For current and imminent full upgrades 
A2Occupation permittedCity land. Can be upgraded
Future project in planning phase 
Commence with pre-planning 
Preparations of funding and applications 
B1Occupation temporary on City owned landCity land. Some constraints
Adverse physical conditions (i.e. zoning, access to bulk services & transport, etc.) 
De-densification required 
Programming and budgeting (de-densification, re-blocking, etc.) 
Prioritizing required (i.e. age of settlement, risks, density, access, readiness) 
B2Occupation temporary on Provincial and National Government owned landProvincial or National land. Some constraints
De-densification required, land to be transferred to City, etc. 
Prioritizing required (i.e. age of settlement, risks, density, transferable, readiness) 
Programming and budgeting (de-densification, re-blocking, land transfer, etc.) 
COccupation prohibitedMany constraints. May need to be relocated
Total relocation required (under lower line, on private land, etc.) 
Prioritizing required (i.e. age of settlement, willingness to move, risks) 
Programming and budgeting required (i.e. land and relocation) 
Searching for suitable land / IDA / TRA

The values for Housing Density presented discrepancies and have been removed for the following pockets:

Jim se BosJim se Bos
Browns Farm InfillsBrowns Farm Xhwithinja
BosasaBosasa Phase 2

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