Development of a Comprehensive Urban Upgrading Program for Mbabane, Swaziland



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
Based on the Completion Report.... 1) The value and importance of data collection within the areas to be upgraded is very high.  This is especially true of data on income and expenditures by residents which helps to establish their ability to pay for improved services. 2) There is a need for community workers to facilitate the upgrading process.  Neighborhood Upgrading Facilitators worked with municipal staff, and community leaders to build trust, improve information flow and assure active participation of residents in the upgrading process.  3) The community has needs beyond the built environment.  Access to health and social welfare services is an essential element of a successful upgrading program.  Having the municiaplity work with national agencies and NGOs to address the needs of of the most vulnerable residents has proven successful. 4) Although the community level activities of other stakeholders can not be predicted or controlled by the municipality, their impact can be managed.  If the municipality enages directly with community leaders and members when issues arrise as a result of inconsistant approaches taken by other stakeholders, they can defuse problems and keep the program on track to success.   


With the objective of making Swaziland’s capital Mbabane a “city without slums”, the Mbabane City Council and the national government seek to develop a comprehensive citywide upgrading programme to upgrade all remaining informal settlements within the city.
1) Develop a comprehensive, citywide upgrading plan;  2) Gain access to best international practices and experience in informal settlement upgrading;  3) Build capacity within the Mbabane City Council to implement upgrading projects and manage the infrastructure;  4) Support the development of entrepreneurial skills and foster employment opportunities in conjunction with project implementation and management.
The following activities will contribute to the preparation of the citywide upgrading programme: Socioeconomic and physical surveys and institutional and financial analyses to:  1) Develop a fully costed budget; gather information from the settlements regarding incomes and employment, priorities for upgrading, affordability and willingness to pay;  2) Garner commitments from all stakeholder institutions;  3) Develop an implementation plan; 4) Develop programme for mobilising housing and SMME finance and mainstreaming HIV/AIDS activities.
Expected Impacts and Results
1) Scaling up of upgrading in Mbabane, to the remaining eight informal settlements within the city boundaries;  2) Increased access to urban services and infrastructure, including improved water and sanitation services, road network, and waste management, for up to 11,700 households in these eight informal areas;  3) Improved security of tenure and regularisation of land ownership for these households;  4) Strengthened participatory government.