Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
Constitutionally, apartheid divided South Africa into “white” and “black” South Africa. White South Africa consisted mainly of the urban areas, while black South Africa was mainly rural. Black South Africa was largely comprised of the homeland areas. However, urban areas have subsequently developed in most of the former homelands. At the same time, a number of dormitory towns were developed, either in these homelands or adjacent to them. Black people who wanted to work in white South Africa had to commute between these dormitory towns and the urban areas in white South Africa. Housing provision under apartheid (1948) started with large-scale investments in the black townships of white South Africa. However, in the late 1960s, funds were redirected to homeland areas and dormitory towns. When the first post-apartheid government took over in 1994, the previous government had been spending only 1.3% of the budget on housing. Although the post-apartheid era has a well-developed housing policy that addresses a variety of aspects, very little has been said, up to now, on how to deal with these previous homeland areas or dormitory towns. For example, how important are they in terms of housing delivery, considering the fact that the apartheid policy actually favoured these areas? At the same time, it should also be acknowledged that they are usually the areas in South Africa that are worst hit by poverty. It is against this background that the paper aims to outline the dilemma concerning spatial policy frameworks in South Africa, as well as delivery figures in former homeland areas and dormitory towns. The Free State province will serve as a case study to outline the dilemma, the absence of policy, and the practice of housing delivery.
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