Stakeholders are those individuals or respective parties who have had an impact on or who may be impacted by the work of the Stormwater Management Team within the informal settlement of Monwabisi Park, Khayelitsha. During the team’s work the investment of said persons ranged from professional guidance and direction to providing work space to welcoming the team into their homes and undergoing interviews to extracting information from the community.

Residents of Monwabisi Park:

The residents of Monwabisi Park, as part of the community, are an integral and inherent stakeholder of most of the 6 project group’s work, and undoubtedly of the Stormwater Management team’s work within the informal settlement. Throughout the group’s work, the Stormwater Management team visited many homes and conducted many interviews with the residents. Fortunately, the residents were very hospitable and willing to share their thoughts with the team. The residents shared their experiences with flooding and proposed their own solutions to the stormwater management issues that contribute to the flooding they experience.

University of Cape Town:

Involving the University of Cape Town (UCT) with the redevelopment of informal settlements is an efficient strategy for both upgrading the community and expanding research opportunities. One process that universities follow is that of theoretical research and small-scale implementation to assess a project’s effectiveness and outcomes (Wilson, 1990). The government is in charge of large-scale upgrading, and universities do not have the authority or ability to deal with large redevelopment initiatives.

The University of Cape Town has been involved in many aspects of upgrading informal settlements. They provide analysis and recommendations on integrating basic services to the settlements, forums on critical issues (such as crime) that affect the settlement, and faculty that work on providing residents with access to healthcare. A lack of coordination between the authorities and the researchers, however, often prevents the spreading of beneficial programs to the whole of the communities (Herbstein, 2009).

While the University has not had much involvement with Monwabisi Park in the past, the faculty and members of UCT have been a valuable resource for past WPI IQP projects, especially for the team that designed a prototype “Water and Sanitation Center”. Alongside WPI students, UCT has helped in recording water and sanitation conditions in Monwabisi Park and is a vital component to the proposed long-term testing facility of water quality (Donahue, 2009). VPUU, WPI and UCT are looking to forge an effective partnership to aid the community of Monwabisi Park in achieving sustainable development.


The “Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading Program”, commonly referred to as the “VPUU”, is the City of Cape Town’s lead agent for its new “In Situ Upgrading Program” (ISUP) in Monwabisi Park.  The VPUU is centered in the township of Khayelitsha and is co-funded by the German Development Bank “Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau,” which is a subsidiary of the German government (AHT Khayelitsha Consortium).  This program is categorized into four main objectives which include; “Safety and violence prevention,” “the upgrading of neighborhood facilities,” “economic development,” and “community development” (AHT Khayelitsha Consortium).  Under these four main goals, the VPUU is intended to reduce violence among the general population of informal settlements, implement plans to upgrade low-income neighborhoods, generate a basic system that will boost the economy, and strengthen the involvement of the community in local leadership organizations as well as in various redevelopment projects (AHT Khayelitsha Consortium).

The VPUU was created to improve the lives of low-income residents within Khayelitsha by implementing new infrastructures such as a water management drainage system and other community-wide services and activities.  To ensure that they include specific features that meet the local community’s wants and needs, they started the program by conducting a baseline survey.  The results from this survey allowed the program to identify sites that were in urgent need of redevelopment and sites where community members felt more at risk (Approach and Methodology). A strategy is then developed from the identified priorities and the VPUU works with the residents to generate possible solutions as well as plans regarding the management and evaluation process of proposed upgrades.  As the VPUU is aimed towards creating a sustainable environment within these communities, much effort is directed towards helping the communities create a feasible plan that can be implemented on a long-term basis.  This plan, which can be summarized into the VPUU’s “Model of Intervention” (Figure 1), encourages the involvement of the local residents in activities such as managing and monitoring the project site, as well as promoting  general upkeep and support throughout the community for the specified area (Approach and Methodology).

Figure 1: VPUU's Model of Intervention

The Stormwater Management team worked with the VPUU to help launch a sustainable stormwater management system.  It employed VPUU’s approach in gaining community involvement in implementing its ideas into the team’s overall design to ensure that the project had a long-lasting benefit to the residents.  Among the four goals of the VPUU, the team focused on the upgrading of neighborhood facilities as well as community development.


The Cape Town Project Center has enlisted the help of 6 co-researchers- Andyswa, Happiness, Luyiso, Pelo, Thabo, and Thembi – to assist the students in their work within Monwabisi Park. The co-researchers have played integral roles in nearly every project. They serve as translators as well as community leaders who can share their authority on various aspects of the local community [of Monwabisi Park]. As all of our projects address issues within the community it has been invaluable receiving the insight and expertise that each co-researcher has to offer surrounding working within the settlements, effectively interacting with the locals, and appropriately attending to the issue(s) at hand. It would difficult be to imagine the students’ work without the guidance and assistance of the co-researchers. Still, there is no doubt that each project would be deprived of a crucial resource with the absence of the co-researcher element. In particular, the Stormwater Management team has worked closely with Thabo, the team’s unofficial personal co-researcher. Thabo has helped the team immensely, bridging the gap created by the language barrier between the students and the Xhosa speaking locals. Furthermore, Thabo has offered his own opinions of how the team should conduct their work in an effective manner that both engages community members and extracts important information from these residents. As a result of the team’s experience with Thabo, in his role as a co-researcher, the Stormwater Management team has realized the significant presence of the “co-researcher” in not just its project but in every project within the Cape Town Project Center.

WPI Advisors:

Scott Jiusto, Director of the WPI Cape Town Project Center (CTPC), and Robert Hersh have served as the advisors to the Stormwater Management team, as well as each of the other 5 project groups, during the team’s IQP work. Beginning in August, 2010, these WPI faculty members directed the WPI students in their research, prepared the students for their future work in and trip to South Africa, and have continued to work closely with each team of students in an effort to have each team realize the mission of its work in the informal settlement of Monwabisi Park, Khayelitsha. “Scott and ‘Bob’,” as they are warmly referred to by the students, have done a great deal to ensure that the students are involved in work that can bring upon change [for the better] for the less fortunate. In addition, they sincerely concern themselves with the individual experiences of each student and want the students to leave Cape Town with meaningful and enriching experiences. With Scott and Bob’s unstated philosophy of “work hard, play hard” the Cape Town Project Center, even in its infancy, has generated some of the most inspiring and successful projects annually recognized by the Global Projects Center, even winning the 2008 IQP Award. (Under the guidance of Scott and Bob, one of the 2009 Cape Town projects has been selected as a finalist for this year IQP Award.)