At the behest of the recently concluded African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD), homeless people and slum dwellers from around the world gathered in Cape Town last week to engage governments in talks to improve their plight.
The three-day meeting, organized by Slum Dwellers International (SDI), drew an array of figures from around the world. They included Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu, the South African Housing Minister, her Malawian counterpart, Mr. Bazuka Mhango, Brazil’s Director of Housing Ms. Ines Magalhaes, Mr. Jockin Arputham, Founder of the National Slum Dwellers Federation in India, and Ms. Rose Molokoane of the South African Homeless Peoples Federation, who was awarded the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour last year.
In highlights of the conference, Ms. Sisulu pledged about 250 million rand (38 million US dollars) in subsidies for low-cost housing beneficiaries. Mr. Mhango pledged land to build homes for Malawi's urban poor, and Ms. Molokoane, the SDI Coordinator in Africa, said her organization would pledging 500,000 million dollars towards the building of low-cost housing in Malawi.