False budget choices for informal settlement dwellers

  • Keep the lights on: maintain existing service levels, maintain water, sanitation and energy infrastructure, roads, street lights, etc.
  • Keep up with growth: invest in new infrastructure and capacities to keep up with growth in population and economy
  • Catalytic/Aspirational and transformative projects: a percentage of the budget to long-term, catalytic projects, as well as alignment of the rest of the budget with transformative outcomes. (I’d add that these days this is often diverting resources towards a “burning issue” or unexpected crisis)
  • “Keep the lights on”: annualized maintenance of formal, permanent assets and infrastructure like streets, street lights, substations etc
  • “Keep up with growth”: improvements to bulk infrastructure, paid for in part if not substantively, with the development contributions of private developers. (Development contributions isn’t code for some sort of underhand payment, its a legitimate levy charged to new developments).
  • “Catalytic”: this may include something like new BRT infrastructure, or a large land-release programme.
  • “Keep the lights on” is either non-existent because the settlement I live in is not recognised, or on private land, or has grown too fast; or the services are temporary and contracted out (e.g. chemical toilets)
  • “Keep up with growth” is funded purely from the state — national transfers and city revenue
  • Catalytic might include new housing projects or spatial transformation projects

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Archive of thoughts. Imperfect, incomplete and not assumed to be my final position. My actions speak louder than my words. Learn more: https://jodi.city

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Urbanjodi

Urbanjodi

Archive of thoughts. Imperfect, incomplete and not assumed to be my final position. My actions speak louder than my words. Learn more: https://jodi.city

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