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A Resource Guide to Housing in South Africa 1994-2010
by Kate Tissington, Socio-Economic Rights Institute
Chapter 1 provides a framing overview of the housing landscape in South Africa, examining some of the systemic problems facing housing policy implementation and briefly discussing the nature of adequate housing.
Housing legislative and policy framework in South Africa
Chapter 2 outlines the housing legislative and policy framework in South Africa, examining the Constitution, the Housing Act, the PIE Act, the Rental Housing Act, the National Norms and Standards, the Social Housing Act, the White Paper on Housing and Breaking New Ground in more detail. The National Housing Code, and the national housing programmes categorised therein, is outlined. Information pertaining to the National Housing Subsidy Scheme (NHSS) is provided, including the generic qualifying criteria for beneficiaries wishing to access state housing subsidies. The chapter further examines some of the legislated housing institutions in South Africa including the Housing Development Agency (HDA), the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), the Social Housing Foundation (SHF) and the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA).
What is adequate housing?
Chapter 3 examines the concept of “adequate housing”, as enshrined in section 26(1) of the Constitution. The chapter briefly outlines what is contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and what the Constitutional Court has said regarding the “progressive realisation” and resource constraint clauses contained in section 26(2). This chapter should be read together with chapter 5 of this guide, which outlines constitutional jurisprudence on the right to housing in South Africa.
Housing delivery and backlogs
Chapter 4 delves into the terrain of statistics – and data reliability – around housing delivery and backlogs in South Africa since 1994. It provides both qualitative and quantitative information on housing delivery, as
well as on housing demand and backlogs particularly in relation to informal settlements, low-income rental accommodation and so-called affordable housing. Figures are provided for the number of houses completed or in the process of completion (by province); housing grant allocations and actual delivery since 2004; estimated housing delivery from 2008 to 2014 (by province); need for adequate shelter estimates (housing backlog) from 1994 to 2009; distribution of households by main dwelling (by province); and number and percentage of households living in informal dwellings (by major city).
Constitutional jurisprudence on the right to housing
Chapter 5 provides an overview of the constitutional jurisprudence on the right to housing as developed by the Constitutional Court over the past decade. The chapter begins by describing the meaning of “respect, protect, promote and fulfil” – obligations on the state in respect of the rights enshrined in the Constitution. The Grootboom1 case – the standard-bearing case on socio-economic rights which resulted in detailed directions to the state on requirements for an effective housing policy framework – is described in detail. The chapter further outlines some of the implementation challenges surrounding national housing policy as well as what the Court has said in relation to other housing-related cases including Olivia Road, Joe Slovo, Abahlali and Nokotyana. Finally, a summary of key findings from the Constitutional Court cases is provided.
Housing policy development: 1994 – 2009
Chapter 6 provides an overview of developments in housing policy since 1994, including a summary of the deliberations at the National Housing Forum held between 1992 and 1994. The chapter examines the overarching policy framework contained in the 1994 White Paper on Housing, and the problems with RDP houses built after 1994. It also unpacks the 2004 Breaking New Ground policy amendment specifically in relation to its focus on the role of local government and the process of accreditation of municipalities, informal settlement upgrading,as well as urban renewal/inner city regeneration. Other specific policies which are examined include the People’s Housing Process (PHP) and the Inclusionary Housing Policy (IHP). The chapter concludes with an outline of the National Housing Code published in 2000 and recently updated in 2009.
National housing programmes: policy vs. implementation
Chapter 7 summarises each of the national housing programmes and subsidies included in the revised National Housing Code (except for the rural programmes). Each sub-chapter outlines which groups are targeted by the specific programme, what funding is available and what institutional arrangements are in place or envisaged. A number of the programmes are examined in greater detail, referring to challenges in implementation and recent developments. These include the accreditation of municipalities, the rectification of post-1994 RDP houses, the Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP), the Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP), the Emergency Housing Programme, the Social Housing Programme (SHP) and the Community Residential Units (CRU) Programme.
Chapter 8 of this guide is a detailed reference section, providing full citations and online links (where available) to all books, journal articles, research reports, publications, media articles, government documents, housing policy/legislation and Constitutional Court judgments discussed in the guide.