26 April 2019

South Africa: Provision of Adequate Land and Housing Has Been One of Democratic SA's Failures

analysis

April 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of South Africa's official transition to a democracy. Twenty-five years into the democratic era, we look at how far we've come and how far we still have to go. In the third article of this series, land and housing are in the spotlight -- two of the issues most frequently cited as contributing to the dissatisfaction of the South African population.

Land and houses. When South Africans take to the streets to protest against their living conditions, calls for land and houses tend to dominate. And while the issue of land has been amplified over the past few years, largely as a result of the campaigning efforts of the EFF, the issue of acceptable housing has been a constant and urgent demand since the dawn of democracy.

In the ANC's first election manifesto, in 1994, the party stated:

"A roof over one's head and reasonable living conditions are not a privilege. They are a basic right for every human being".

But the scale of the challenge involved in reversing apartheid's ruinous legacy of spatial planning, amid a rapidly growing population, have left millions of people still deprived of this "basic right" in 2019.

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