The Constitution of South Africa guarantees the right to “adequate shelter” for all citizens within available state resources. While government policies and delivery programmes are trying to meet the need, a number of challenges, including increasing urbanisation and levels of poverty are continuously raising the demand. Three parallel streams are emerging in the housing landscape: private sector market
related housing (including typical townhouse clusters and security/lifestyle estates), the delivery of public housing (including “RDP” and social housing models) and the emergence of various aided and unaided self-help models (including the “People's Housing Process” of state aided house building and the
unaided growth of informal settlements). Despite a tradition of self-help housing in South Africa and a number of formal programmes to promote aided self-help housing, it has not gone to scale. This could be related to a number of challenges inherent in the particular South African context, including the significant role that the state plays in housing delivery, linked to an insufficient consideration of the local
market, land supply patterns, land values and housing mix.