Satellite to help create settlement database
THE South African National Space Agency (Sansa) was in talks with the Department of Human Settlements to implement an informal settlements database using satellite information, Sansa stakeholder relations manager Dan Matsapola said yesterday.
This follows the successful launch of the North West informal settlements atlas series last week, a collaboration between Sansa and the provincial department of developmental local government and housing.
In its Breaking New Ground plan, the national department aims to "eradicate informal settlements". However, it is difficult to quantify the extent of informal settlements and the number of inhabitants, which is necessary to plan alternative housing, because they are constantly changing.
The five-year project, which cost about R7m, maps the location and spread of informal settlements. The atlas series - consisting of atlases for 2010 and 1994-2010, a district series, and an interactive digital atlas - shows that there are 140 informal settlements in the province, with a total of 77600 shacks. About 310500 people live in these informal settlements.
Phil Mjwara, director-general of the Department of Science and Technology, said last week: "The compilation of this atlas series is evidence of the strategic role of space science and technology, specifically Earth observation satellite imagery, in addressing real-world problems."
North West human settlements MEC Desbo Mohono said: " This will assist our provincial, district and local municipal role players in planning and upgrading the many informal settlements in the province."
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