Key Points:

  • In this occasional paper, Professor Dan Smit examines how well the South African housing sector has performed since the new policy framework was inaugurated in 1994. He argues that housing policy is working well, but that government has not communicated its success.
  • A vigorous housing association movement, for example, has a place in the overall policy framework.
  • Policy has also been able to mobilise delivery capacity, with substantial space for enthusiastic private sector partnerships.
  • How well has the South African housing sector performed since the new policy framework was inaugurated in 1994?
  • Government’s stated goal was to increase the housing sector’s share of the national budget from its current 1 % to 5% (to increase delivery incrementally to 350 000 units per annum within five years), and to produce at least one million houses for low-income people over five years.
  • When the report cards on the new government’s first term are drawn up, the housing sector may well be a star performer.
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