Purpose:  The principal argument in this research is based on the fact that statistical data are very necessary for the formulation of policy and planning to target informal settlement challenge. Quantitative data is increasingly being used for planning issues such as access to housing, health, socio-economic activities and infrastructural provision. These key services that keep the urban environment functional cannot play the expected role with regard to development if data availability is lacking.

Problem of investigation:   Research has shown that Informal settlement varies greatly in their size and location, the way that they are formed and the reason why people live in them. Upgrading intervention has been noted to neglect the importance of data on the number of people living in a given informal settlement, their sex composition and statistics on their socio-economic issues. By providing information on how many settlements are informal and formal, how many men and women are residing in informal settlements, what is the total number of infrastructures and socio-economic needs such as access to jobs, clinics, education facilities and open space planners will be guided and equipped to adjust or improve policies towards these vulnerable group of urban residents.  

The question that will be answered is: To what extent can the collation of quantitative data on informal settlement assist planners and policymakers in the policy-making process in relation to informal settlements in South Africa? The paper also questions the validity of informal settlement data. 

Design/Methodology:  This investigation will be based on primary and secondary data with the analysis of Census 1996 and 2001 as well as Community Survey of 2009. The study will also use Geographic Information Systems data of the City of Johannesburg. These findings will be contextualised in Johannesburg as a case because this happen to be one of the municipalities with high rate of urbanization and attendant housing shortages.  The sporadic and continuous increase in the number of households living in Informal Settlement as indicated in the Draft report of City of Johannesburg 2011/12 Integrated Development Planning (IDP) to be 180,000 household cannot continue to be neglected or unabated without accurate data for monitoring and evaluation.

Findings: This investigation finds out that data on informal settlement can help in informal settlement upgrade and assist to mitigate service delivery protests and resistance to relocation that is being witnessed in the city.  

Conclusion: There is need for public policy makers and planners to collate data on informal settlement for monitoring, evaluation and effective service delivery and provision. There is need to review legislations guiding housing development using relevant up to date data."