Informal settlement janitorial services: implementation of a municipal job creation initiative in Cape Town, South Africa Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In 2011/12, the City of Cape Town announced that it would commence an on-site janitorial service for communal flush toilets in informal settlements throughout the metropolitan area. The dual objectives of the programme were to improve municipal sanitation services in informal settlements and to create new job opportunities in areas with high unemployment. This paper examines the janitorial programme’s development and administration in Cape Town’s largest township from 2011 to 2014, from the viewpoints of: (1) municipal sanitation officials; (2) civil society advocates; and (3) informal settlement residents employed as janitors. Interviews with key informants and observation of sanitation actors indicated that the implementation of the janitorial programme was mired in conflicting understandings of good governance and different prioritization of goals in multi-objective development initiatives. This case, in particular, points to a potential repercussion of including sanitation in multi-objective programming, for the administration of the job creation aspect took precedence and ultimately detracted from the janitorial programme’s servicing goal.

publication date

  • April 2017