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Social Housing South Africa: a research on the niche area Sunnyside, Pretoria.

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Social Housing South Africa: a research on the niche area Sunnyside, Pretoria.

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Samenvatting

The housing problems in South Africa are immense. The country copes with a huge housing backlog, especially in the urban areas in the low-income sector. Because of the apartheid spatial planning, where black people weren’t allowed to live in cities, the structure of South African cities and the area around it have developed a complex spatial structure which is difficult to break through.
When the Apartheid era ended groups of oppressed black people started moving into the cities. This phenomenon was known under the white inhabitants of South Africa as the ‘black threat’ , and in fear of a civil war the white inhabitants moved out of the cities. For a period of time the situation in the inner cities were critical without supervision, order and evacuated houses and offices crime evolved quikly and the degeneration of the inner cities was inevadable.
The new democratic government of 1994 waited a tremendous task of stabilizing the environment to transform the extremely fragmented, complex and racially-based financial and institutional framework inherited from the previous government.
By this means the new government focused on the quantity rather than the quality when it came to fighting the huge housing backlog.
Over the next ten years the government delivered 1,6 million houses, building as much as possible as soon as possible resulted in more houses outside the cities far away from social and economic opportunities with great transportation difficulties. The new housing delivery did not deviate from the apartheid spatial planning; black townships predominantly stayed black with no possibility of racial integration, located far from economic activity, the low economic activity created extensive poverty, no recreational facilities resulting in deprived, depressed communities with nothing to do and no where to go.
In 1997 with the Housing Subsidy Scheme the government developed a subsidy support programme, to assist the lower income group with housing. The HSS focused on the ownership


of housing, this was more out of political reasons rather than logic economical decision making because in the Apartheid era the black population of the country was not allowed to own property. This has resulted in a predominantly private rental housing market, with a low supply on rental housing and high prices.
Since a few years, the South African approach towards housing starts to shift from a major focus on quantity to the quality of housing. The government acknowledges the need for affordable rental housing for the lower to middle income group. In 2004 the government delivered a new comprehensive programme on housing called ‘Breaking New Ground’. This plan emphasize on rental accomodation for the poor, fast tracking of the housing demand in the market and racial intergration.
This is were Social Housing can play an important role.

Social Housing is one of government's housing programmes in South Africa and aims to address economic, social and spatial segregation by providing affordable rental housing for low- to middle income households and aims to contribute to the regeneration of the surrounding area.
Social housing in South Africa is a relatively new housing programme (since 1997, with the implementation of the Housing Subsidy Scheme) and is an urban housing option that mainly is applied to inner city areas.
Social Housing in South Africa has emerged as a result of fragmented organisational will, mainly by (international) donor organisations, rather than as a result of a supportive policy environment. Social Housing was introduced in South Africa with the development of the HSS in 1997. Since 1997 60 so called Social Housing Institutions have emerged delivering approximately 30.332 housing units country wide. This is unfortunately quit a low number for a country with 45 million inhabitants. The reason why not much SHIs are established has to do with great obstacles in legislations, finance and roles and responsibilities in the delivery on Social Housing.


Sunnyside is an inner city area located in Pretoria, the (administrative) capital of South Africa. Sunnyside is appointed as a so called Niche Area by the Technikon Research and Development Programme (TRDP) for research. My research on Social Housing in South Africa and Sunnyside has taken place in order of the Tshwane University of Technology.
Sunnyside is an urban inner city area located on the border of the City Business District ( CBD, city centre) of Pretoria.
The neighbourhood consist mainly of medium density housing. The area is very popular with the new middle class, non-white inhabitants of South Africa mainly government employed and moving into the cities for work.
The housing delivered in Sunnyside consists almost only of rental housing. Rental housing provided by the private sector through some big real estate players, but mainly provided through body coorperates renting out housing units in ownership of small scale landlords. The rent prices are quit high resulting in sharing and overpopulated housing. The need for affordable rental housing within Sunnyside is very high.
With its location in the inner city, Sunnyside provides a great variety of facilitations, public transport, job opportunities and a growing local economy.
Sunnyside is an ideal area for Social Housing, however seen legislations, no support by the Municipality by providing free land or property and financial difficulties it seems impossible in the current situation to develop a SHI in Sunnyside.
The biggest obstacle Social Housing currently is coping with in South Africa is finance. All the SHIs depend on donor funding resulting in unsustainable projects. With no growing support the Social Housing sector in South Africa sees a troubled future, though it could be of great value for the housing problems.
In order to make Social Housing projects viable it must develop financial independence and become sustainable projects.
This would be able to realise through cross-subsidize, with mixed-use and mixed-income developments. A SHI with commercial letting and non-subsidized residential units.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Utrecht
OpleidingBouwtechnische Bedrijfskunde
AfdelingGebouwde Omgeving
PartnerTshwane University of Technology en Hogeschool Utrecht
Jaar2007
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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