The Tshwane Sustainable Human Settlement Strategy and Financing Plan



Approval Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
South Africa
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
By focusing on the individuality of settlements, the Tshwane Comprehensive Sustainable Human Settlements Strategy (TCSHSS) acknowledges that ‘one size’ will not fit all. The strategy recognizes that settlements respond to a variety of stimuli that are ongoing and which have different impacts in different contexts. By drawing on the concept of SHS levers, the TCSHSS acknowledges that SHS is not something one can ‘just do’ – settlements that are sustainable become so through an organic and evolutionary process which the city governors can only influence and guide with policies. The six levers identified are designed to provide a solid framework. The specific flagship project chosen was in alignment with the existing City plans for a BRT. This flagship project enabled the city to practically apply the concepts and principles of sustainable human settlements. The TCSHSS is an approach that must be continuously updated as local contexts change – and so within the IDP framework, the TCSHSS will be continuously revised and amended to suit the City as it evolves. Implementing the TCSHSS is not easy, as it requires the concerted and cooperative effort of all City staff across all departments, irrespective of historical patterns of behaviour and operation. The outputs of TCSHSS are not immediately identifiable. Sustainability is a long term strategy that is not easily captured in election manifesto. Despite this, the CTMM demonstrated a commitment to all its residents to pursue principles of sustainability and critical levers as identified in the strategy for realizing sustainable human settlements. One of the most notable lessons is to ensure that strategic initiatives, such as the development of an integrated human settlement strategy, align with existing city planning processes. It is critical to have full client ownership of the project and for the client to have a clearly delegated team responsible for working with the project. Introducing innovation should be done within the context of a carefully designed advocacy and communications strategy. At the same time it is vital that the timeframe of the project is closely aligned with the life cycle of the government and with municipal plans such as the Integrated Development Plan (similar to a CDS). In this way, it will make the implementation of the project much less complicated for both the client and the consultant team.


The Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, formerly known as Pretoria, is the capital of South Africa and the fifth largest city in the country. The city continues to grapple with complex spatial and socio-economic challenges including substantial growth in informal settlements within the city. This project aims to achieve political and public consensus on a comprehensive plan that integrates housing and upgrading strategy into existing transport, economic and social initiatives as articulated in the Tshwane City Development Strategy (CDS). The Tshwane Comprehensive Sustainable Human Settlement Strategy (CSHSS) would promote an integrated and focused development as a way of improving urban competitiveness and reducing social exclusion through service delivery.
(i) Achieve political and public consensus on a comprehensive plan that integrates a housing and upgrading strategy within the framework of existing transport, economic and social initiatives as stated in the Tshwane CDS (ii) Carry out a focused review of the seven key zonal sub-strategies (iii) Determine the nature and cost of capital investments necessary for the implementation of the Tshwane Comprehensive Sustainable Human Settlement Strategy (CSHSS) (iv) Identify institutional capacity required to implement the CSHSS (v) Formulate a 15-year financing plan for its implementation (vi) Identify meaningful public-private partnerships in the delivery of upgrading services.
The first phase of the grant was focused on the development a city wide comprehensive sustainable human settlement strategy. The TSCHSS includes four aspects: a) A definition of what is meant by sustainable human settlements; b) A focused strategy, tailor-made for the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, which addresses the social, environmental, physical and financial dimensions of creating sustainable human settlements. The change of focus from being a ‘housing and upgrading strategy’ to a more inclusive ‘sustainable human settlements strategy’ was due to the realization that a city, such as Tshwane, required a strategy that addressed the development needs of the city as a whole and not only focusing narrowly on housing and upgrading; a) An application of the strategy in a proposed flagship project; and b) Recommendations for institutionalizing the strategy beyond the immediate publication of the document itself. In its second phase the Tshwane Sustainable Human Settlement project involved two main activities: a) The integration of the Sustainable Human Settlement methodology into Tshwane’s mainstream planning and implementation practices; and b) Packaging of a major Sustainable Human Settlement activity spine project.
Expected Impacts and Results
Expected Impacts and Results: Tshwane will be the first in South Africa to apply this unique and ground breaking methodology to restructure its urban form and address the spatial legacy of apartheid. As a result of this initiative, the principles of creating sustainable human settlement will be embedded in key strategic planning and development processes. This strategy is expected to result in: 1) Clearly identified roles of key actors at national, provincial and city-level 2) Diverse needs of Tshwane housing market identified and served 3) Better connectivity between housing, transport nodes and economic opportunities 4) Equitable housing opportunities that contribute to reshaping apartheid sprawl while promoting the ecological integrity of the city 5) Finance and resource mobilization for the implementation of CSHSS 6) Private sector role in providing housing and services is enhanced. The strategy will demonstrate the practical application of the strategy while capitalizing on the existing investments such as BRT. This strategy will help result in getting ‘Settlements’ back on to the planning and operational agenda through reintroducing settlement sensitivity into current planning and operational arrangements, recognizing different settlement types and sustainable human settlement challenges associated with each of these settlement type. Ultimately, the project will lead to restructuring the city around mixed use activity spines and nodes and integrate various sectors including transport, housing and economic development.