MOBILE GIS: A TOOL FOR INFORMAL SETTLEMENT OCCUPANCY AUDIT TO IMPROVE INTEGRATED HUMAN SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION IN EKURHULENI, SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords: Mobile GIS, occupancy audit, informal settlements, integration, Ekurhuleni
Abstract. Upgrading and relocating people in informal settlements requires consistent commitment, good strategies and systems so as to improve the lives of those who live in them. In South Africa, in order to allocate subsidised housing to beneficiaries of an informal settlement, beneficiary administration needs to be completed to determine the number of people who qualify for a subsidised house. Conventional methods of occupancy audits are often unreliable, cumbersome and non-spatial. Accordingly, this study proposes the use of mobile GIS to conduct these audits to provide up-to-date, accurate, comprehensive and real-time data so as to facilitate the development of integrated human settlements. An occupancy audit was subsequently completed for one of the communities in the Ekurhuleni municipality, Gauteng province, using web-based mobile GIS as a solution to providing smart information through evidence based decision making. Fieldworkers accessed the off-line capturing module on a mobile device recording GPS coordinates, socio-economic information and photographs. The results of this audit indicated that only 56.86% of the households residing within the community could potentially benefit from receiving a subsidised house. Integrated residential development, which includes fully and partially subsidised housing, serviced stands and some fully bonded housing opportunities, would then be key to adequately providing access to suitable housing options within a project in a post-colonial South Africa, creating new post-1994 neighbourhoods, in line with policy. The use of mobile GIS therefore needs to be extended to other informal settlement upgrading projects in South Africa.