n Journal of Public Administration - From informal settlements to brick structures : housing trends in post-apartheid South Africa

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The housing subsidy scheme implemented since 1994 has changed the housing landscape and adequately sheltered more than 2.8 million households in less than 20 years. In the same period, South Africa has witnessed violent protests, the slow pace of housing delivery being among the grievances. Using data from the South African Attitudes Survey (SASAS), this article examines the housing trends from 2005 to 2009. The findings suggest that there has been a growth in the proportion of householders who live in brick structures but informal dwellings persist. Furthermore, housing in South Africa is still racialised with the majority of informal dwellers being Africans and coloureds. The performance of provinces in reducing the proportion of residents living in informal dwellings varies. Yet, provinces with a clear strategy for dealing with informal settlements appear to be succeeding in reducing the proportion of informal dwellers more than those lacking a clear strategy. While greater financing is required for the provinces that have been consistent in reducing informal settlements, struggling provinces require support in terms of capital and human resources to deal with informal settlements. The contribution of this article lies in its identification of the housing trends and the groups and provinces most in need of adequate housing.

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