The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 108 of 1996 (the Constitution), affords all South Africa citizens the inalienable right to housing. Since 1994 there have been many policies which include the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) of 1994; and the Housing Act, 1997 (Act No. 107 of 1997). Currently the most fundamental housing policy is the National Department‟s mandate is the Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Sustainable Human Settlements, 2004.
The first objective of this study was to analyse whether South Africa is viewed as a welfare or a developmental state. The second objective of this study was to assess whether the South African Low Income Housing Policy contained in the comprehensive plan for the development of sustainable human settlements (2004) is a wobbly pillar of the state, a cornerstone for development or a lever for socio economic change.
This research study comprised of sixteen in-depth interviews with South African housing policy developers and implementers. The interviews were based on semi-structured interview questions. The study followed a qualitative technique and an exploratory research approach. The study found that South Africa is not viewed as a welfare state, nor is it viewed as a developmental state. It is viewed as an intermediary state that has strong policies and institutions that support a developmental agenda. The study further found that the South African housing policy is not viewed as a wobbly pillar of the state but it is viewed as a cornerstone for development and a lever for socio-economic change.
There was lack of diversity because all interviews were based in Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng, which are only two of the nine provinces of South Africa. A total of ten recommendations were made to policy developers, implementers and for future research.