Low income human settlements on dolomite

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 22 November 2011

GCRO hosted this Policy Workshop on 22 November. Approximately 60 attendees from a range of disciplines discussed concerns, and potential solutions, around the building of settlements on dolomitic land in the GCR.

This workshop is an element of an ongoing programme of study into The intersection between disaster vulnerability and sustainability in the Gauteng City-Region, which in turn is one of the projects in GCRO’s Sustainability in the GCR research thrust. The workshop focused on one aspect of a growing body of concern about where and how we are housing poorer people in the city region, especially in light of how the risks inherent in building settlements on dangerious ground, polluted zones, on floodplains and so on, may be exacerbated by external factors such as climate change. Gauteng is ringed by a collar of dolomotic land which, under certain circumstances, may be prone to catastrphic sinkholes. In the workshop representatives from a number of Gauteng municipalities, provincial government, and bodies such as the Council for Geoscience, discussed the nature and extent of the challenge of building on dolomite, and shared ideas over ways to deal with this very real problem.

The workshop started off in a plenary session, where the background to the issue was presented by the GCRO. Thereafter break-away groups discussed the following six questions:

  • What should be done (in order of priority) to address the concerns of dolomite intersecting with low income human settlements (LIHS) in the GCR?
  • What are the current barriers towards solutions for LIHS on dolomite?
  • How could these barriers potentially be addressed/overcome?
  • What role should community awareness and education plain in dolomite risk management?
  • How should the process of development, relocation and upgrades for LIHS on dolomite be approached (re: design, construction, maintenance etc.)?
  • Under what circumstances could LIHS on dolomitic ground be considered, thinking beyond risk classification, but rather typologies, infrastructure provision, maintenance etc?

The workshop proceedings will be recorded in a document that captures the key discussion points and proposed potential solutions voiced during the event. This document will be available shortly.


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