South Africa needs a new approach to housing and urban development as the current RDP housing policy generally locates people far from economic opportunities and contributes to high rates of unemployment and poverty.
There are currently four and a half million freestanding privately owned houses in urban residential areas across South Africa with tremendous potential for densification. This could allow us to reduce the demand for new land in the metros over the next 25 years by around 70%.
In many well-located suburbs, small entrepreneurs are rebuilding South Africa’s cities, developing new, mostly rental opportunities in already functional and connected neighbourhoods.
What the country needs are denser, vibrant, well-managed, low-income neighbourhoods and not inner city slums. To get there we need more financing that is easy to access, appropriate development control and urban management that is geared towards supporting these processes, and the removal of regulatory blockages that result in fewer and lower quality developments.