Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing Section 26(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996). This is a basic right that is enshrined in the Constitution. As such, government is obliged to do everything within its means to realise this right. The inclusion of housing as a basic right in South Africa s Constitution makes it a priority issue in government affairs.
Years of apartheid created great imbalances in terms of housing in South Africa. The black population was not allowed to own property. The labour immigration system broke family units apart as men ventured into the city in search of jobs and were accommodated in hostels for men. Here no provision for families was made. The democratic government of the day inherited the great responsibility of correcting these imbalances.
Gauteng, with an estimated 11.3 million people in 2011, has the biggest provincial population in the country. Despite the low fertility, the population of Gauteng grew the fastest during this period, growing at an annual average rate of 2.9% (Development Bank of Southern Africa, 2011). The Gauteng province has a very high population, and, because of this, it is not difficult to fathom why the government is unable to meet the housing demand in the province. The birth of informal settlements is a result of immigration into the urban areas by people who are mostly in search of better employment opportunities. Diepkloof and Mamelodi are great examples of places in the Gauteng province that have seen an influx of people into urban areas, as you find diverse groups of people in these two areas, which make it evident, that many of the residents have migrated into these places. This rise of informal settlements all over South Africa depicts the dire need for housing.
The Social Housing Act, No 16 of 2008, (2008) is enacted to establish and promote a sustainable social housing environment and to define the functions of national, provincial and local governments with respect to social housing. Sustainability of housing is important for progress in the housing sector. Principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness should be employed to ensure that government resources are use appropriately in the endeavour to supply housing to all beneficiaries. The endowment of housing today should not compromise the ability of future generations to access proper housing. This dissertation looks into the implementation of housing policy and related legislation in South Africa from the perspective of its beneficiaries.
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2016.