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Housing delivery as anti-poverty

Is South Africa on the right track?

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Catherine Cross

12 October 2008

Human Sciences Research Council


stepSA Librarian

Conference paper

Spatial Temporal Evidence for Planning South Africa

South Africa

This paper addresses questions around the validity of South Africa’s anti-poverty approach, which makes use of housing delivery as government’s key anti-poverty delivery model, intended to bring the urban poor into full participating, economic citizenship quickly through promoting savings, accumulation and education as the route out of poverty.

The key question is, is this approach working? The argument is made here that government housing policy is indeed on track, but that continuing attention needs to go to correct targeting of different forms of housing delivery to the right places and the right constituencies. New decision frames around addressing informality are now emerging, and will be needed.

The paper looked at South African housing and delivery debates, emphasizing the central questions of location, city form and the peripheralization of the poor in relation to their journey to work. It also addresses thorny issues around the responses to policy from the poor and from implementors: it is possible that the housing goals of the poor may not align with the goals of government policy and of city planners.

As the full capacities of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) housing policy begin to be taken up through a more accurately detailed perception of housing delivery, new attention may need to go toward self-delivery options. The paper presents a new analysis of settlement types as a tool for determining housing needs, based on the empirical findings of a new survey carried out by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Human Sciences Research Council.


Abstract based directly on source.


Website References

Built environment





Human settlements



Poverty & inequality

South Africa


Urban and Regional Dynamics

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