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n Journal for Juridical Science - Access to housing in South Africa : an overview of dimensions and mechanisms

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Abstract

The historical background of influx control, group areas and the regulation of unlawful occupation of land (squatting), explain, to some extent, why unlawful occupation of land and informal settlements are still prevalent 18 years after the new Constitutional dispensation commenced. For many people in South Africa, access to land is still an ideal and not a reality. Not only have the "three pillars of apartheid" contributed to the dismal current state of affairs, but the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional nature of access to housing has also contributed to it being particularly complex. In this regard a human rights, a land reform and a property law dimension can be identified. The human rights dimension is imbedded in socio-economic rights and is founded on dignity; the land reform dimension is based on the premise that access to housing is interlinked with access to land, and the property law dimension involves the development of common law (Roman-Dutch) principles of property and ownership to provide for other (or alternative) forms of ownership. This article aims to provide an overview of the three-dimensional nature of access to housing and to highlight some of the mechanisms encapsulated within each dimension. An overview of statutory measures will be provided and, where relevant, certain aspects will be attended to in more detail. In light of its three-dimensional nature, it is clear that access to housing remains a major challenge for all role players involved.


Voormalige grootskaalse gebruik van instromingsbeheer, groepsgebiede en die regulering van onregmatige okkupasie van grond (plakkery) verduidelik tot 'n mate waarom onregmatige okkupasie van grond en informele vestiging nog steeds, 18 jaar nadat 'n nuwe Grondwetlike bedeling in Suid-Afrika ingetree het, 'n realiteit is. Hoewel die "drie pillare van apartheid" tot die steeds voortdurende problematiek aanleiding gegee het, kompliseer die multidimensionele aard van toegang tot behuising, die saak verder. Hierin geleë is 'n menseregte-, grondhervormings- en sakeregdimensie. Die menseregtedimensie is ingebed in sosio-ekonomiese regte en is op die beginsel van menswaardigheid gebou; die grondhervormingsdimensie behels dat toegang tot behuising en toegang tot grond onlosmaaklik aan mekaar gekoppel is, en die sakereg/eiendomsregdimensie behels die ontwikkeling van gemeenregtelike (Romeins-Hollandse) eiendomsbeginsels om moontlike ander (alternatiewe) vorme van eiendomsreg daar te stel. Hierdie artikel beoog om 'n oorsig te gee van die drie-dimensionele aard van toegang tot behuising en om sommige van die meganismes wat in elke dimensie ingebou is, uit te lig. 'n Oorsig van statutêre maatreëls word verskaf, en waar toepaslik, word bepaalde aspekte in meer besonderhede uiteengesit. In die lig van dié drie-dimensionele aard, is dit duidelik dat toegang tot behuising steeds 'n groot uitdaging stel aan alle rolspelers binne die verskillende dimensies.

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/content/juridic/36/2/EJC122973
2011-01-01
2016-12-05
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