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An assessment of the socio-economic impact of informal settlements on suburban properties in Clare Estate in eThekwini Municipality.

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Informal settlements have become a prominent feature in metropolitan cities and small and medium cities of developing countries. These settlements result from an increasing urban population and are characterised mainly by substandard housing and inadequate essential services. In South African cities, informal settlements have been developed in and around suburban areas, which has been a cause of conflicts for many years. The residents in suburban areas claim that informal settlements negatively impact the value of properties in the suburbs. A qualitative research approach was employed to assess the socio-economic impact of informal settlements on suburban properties in Clare Estate in eThekwini Municipality. The data was collected through secondary interviews, observations and secondary data analysis. The secondary data was obtained from books, governments’ reports, media publications, journals, government policies and legislations and other many internet data sources. The combination of these methods of collecting data was used to discover different perspectives on the research topic. Purposive sampling was employed to select 30 participants: 20 from Clare Estate suburb and ten from Kennedy road informal settlement. The data was collected over one and a half months. The findings of this study disclosed that Kennedy Road informal settlement hurts both social and economic facets of the Clare Estate suburb. Residents in the suburb believe that the informal settlement next to the Clare Estate suburb decreases the value of properties in the Estate. That is because homebuyers do not want to invest in properties next to the informal settlement. They want to avoid perceived devaluation of their properties from being near such a settlement. The study concluded that informal settlements are a great challenge of the urban environment that negatively impacts suburban areas on the value of properties. This is influenced by ruralurban migration, urbanisation, and racial segregation that is rooted in the legacy of the apartheid system. It further suggested that the government develop free government housing and low-cost flats in Kennedy Road Informal Settlement to accommodate informal settlers close to Clare Estate and create order and control over informal settlers.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.