n Journal of Public Administration - The practical implementations of the policy frameworks that guide the planning and design of human settlements in the South African developmental state

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Twenty years into democracy, the South African government has demonstrated that it is a developmental state, with its policy frameworks that emphasise improving the quality of people's lives. In this process, the government has formulated various policy frameworks to enforce its developmental objectives. Thus, through the Department of Human Settlements, the government seeks to satisfy its developmental objectives by accelerating the delivery of human settlements and by using housing as a poverty alleviation and job creation strategy. Central to this strategic objective is the adoption of the human-centred and nature-centred approaches to settlement development and planning. The human-centred approach emphasises that the developmental needs and activities of people living in settlements must be catered for and, in particular, the residents must be offered more opportunities to achieve their maximum potential through their own efforts. While, on the other hand, the nature-centred approach calls for sensitive human actions towards ecological systems. To this extent, the developmental government has developed some planning and design guidelines to help designers and developers to achieve sustainable and environmentally efficient settlements. This article reviews some of these guiding policy frameworks in order to understand their practical implications in improving the quality of people's lives. The article concludes that the guidelines provided in the policy frameworks are crucial measures for improving the social, economic and environmental well-being of the people in the human settlements.

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