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Collaborating on solutions to some of the Bay’s informal settlement challenges

The scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the poor, in particular, has once again highlighted the need for intervention in the country’s most vulnerable communities


Poverty, unemployment and generally poor living conditions are among the challenges faced by these communities, particularly the densely populated informal settlements.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, the Walmer E area, in Gqebera Township, and Vistarus Area, near Missionvale, are among such settlements. A total of 180 families in these areas – 90 in each settlement – were among the latest beneficiaries of the Nelson Mandela University Convergence Fund, established to try to alleviate some of the immediate socioeconomic needs, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The families were identified through ongoing engagement work between Mandela University, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the community, and received food parcels – which included sanitiser and face masks – during an engagement last month.

In a bid to find solutions to the challenges encountered in these communities, the Chair for Human Settlements at Nelson Mandela University, Prof Sijekula Mbanga, has been working with the Municipality and community leaders on a number of interventions towards addressing these in the Walmer E area, in particular.

Read more about this engagement and other efforts by the University on our Convergence Fund website.