Strengthening the South African National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP)

Project: Strengthening the South African National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP)
Partners: World Bank Institute, the World Bank, USAID, Department of Human Settlements
The Situation: Despite very significant progress in housing delivery since the historic 1994 elections, the South African government was confronted with the challenge of rapid growth of informal settlements throughout the country. While two million houses were produced, there are now 2,600 informal settlements across the country that are home to an estimated 1.4 million households. Since 2005, the Cities Alliance has supported South Africa’s National Department of Human Settlements (NDHS) in developing its National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP). The Programme incorporates informal settlement upgrading into the country’s national housing policy
Results: The Cities Alliance has supported several initiatives towards the successful implementation of NUSP. These include consensus building on in-situ upgrading among policy makers at the national, provincial and municipality level. A series of upgrading forums have been held across the country to promote peer-to-peer learning.
Partnerships among various stakeholders including government authorities, private sector, civil society and residents of informal settlements are also being strengthened. Capacity building programmes are being developed along with learning resources such as an interactive website ( and a resource toolkit.
The Alliance also provided assistance to NUSP in the areas of financial planning, project monitoring and evaluation. In April 2010, President Jacob Zuma and the Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, signed an historic Presidential Delivery Agreement. For the first time, in-situ upgrading has the necessary political support for its inclusion at the centre of the national housing policy. It is backed by a financial allocation of ZAR 22 billion (approximately USD 3 billion) in the 2011-14 fiscal period.