Africa: South Africa's Housing Crisis - a New Breed of Honest Politicians Is Needed to Unlock the Land


When it comes to the provision of housing, there is a kneejerk reaction to create more regulations as a way of controlling and determining the actions of the officials behind the desk. This has created a culture of apathy, fear and corruption. Ultimately, there is no incentive in the public sector to provide better services.

In 2018, the Development Action Group (DAG), along with an informal settlement, submitted a motion to the City of Cape Town subcouncil for the redevelopment of a dense informal settlement in Khayelitsha. After failing with rogue methods to upgrade by attempting to influence consulting engineers, we needed to attempt the more complicated yet formal regulatory route.

Like many other motions submitted around informal settlements, this motion did not get far. The response was fourfold, but the most important being that close to 12 hectares of land was needed to "de-densify".

While this process unfolded, the City of Cape Town made some incredible claims of building 2,000 social housing units within the inner city. The utilisation of state-owned land for social housing was the silver lining. Yet despite years of preparation and resources spent on consultants and partnerships, there is little progress to implement these projects....

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