Implementing sustainable human settlements

Smeddle-Thompson, Lisa (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In our rapidly urbanising world, the need for sustainable settlement planning, particularly for the poor in developing countries, is essential. In South Africa, apartheid spatial constructs segregated black population groups, denying them equal access to economic opportunities; housing; as well as basic and social services. After the first democratic elections in 1994, policy makers attempted to redress these inequalities. Though early housing policy aimed to provide secure tenure: permanent residential structures, and access to basic services for the poor, these policies failed to meet the objectives of the policy makers. In articulating that the state could not meet the needs of the homeless, and that housing for the poor should be delivered within a normalized market in order to attract private investment, these policies (which promoted private sector, contractor-driven development) only served to heighten inequalities previously entrenched by the apartheid regime. In 2004, after measuring delivery failures, policy makers empowered the state to become an enabler of subsidised and low-income housing delivery, rather than leaving housing provision solely to the market. The new policy included the use of multiple finance and delivery mechanisms, multiple housing typologies, and clearly expressed the need for capacity development. It also espoused the need for citizens to become participants in sustainable settlement delivery. Despite this, policy implementation continues to be fragmented and mostly ineffectual. Interviews, survey results and site visits reveal that there are some examples of integrated sustainable human settlements in the South African (SA) context. A few recent examples showcase better quality houses, a broader variety of housing options and typologies, better locations, functioning developmental relationships and the use of multiple financing mechanisms. Conversely, case studies and comparative analysis of developments reveal that most projects designated as Breaking New Ground (BNG) responsive by government officials (as defined in the study) fail to meet BNG policy objectives. This study argues that low-income housing provision continues to focus on the delivery of free-standing subsidy houses without providing a range of typologies and tenure options. It argues that basic and socialservice provision is intermittent and, at times, non-existent. It argues that current funding models for the development of sustainable human settlements in low-income communities are unable to meet basic needs within communities. It shows that skills scarcities within government prevent the acceleration of housing delivery and that participation strategies have failed to meet the policy objective of enabling citizens to become participants in sustainable settlement development. In conclusion, it recommends that the current focus on and allocations of subsidies toward ownership models for shelter and housing delivery be re-examined. It suggests that support should be provided for lending institutions to extend finance to creditworthy, low- and middle-income families. Additionally, accredited capacitybuilding programmes should be developed and funded for local authorities, enabling local government to be the sole driver of local development. It argues that capacity should be built in community organisations to speed up delivery processes, and recommends that provincial government’s power and authority be incrementally devolved to local government as capacity is increased within local authorities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Weens die snelle verstedeliking in Suid-Afrika het die behoefte aan beplanning van volhoubare nedersettings noodsaaklik geword, veral vir armes in ontwikkelende lande. Tydens apartheid is gesegregeerde swart gemeenskappe gelyke toegang tot ekonomiese geleenthede, behuising, sowel as basiese en maatskaplike dienste ontneem. Na 1994 het beleidmakers gepoog om hierdie ongelykhede reg te stel. Hoewel vroeë behuisingsbeleid daarop gemik was om permanente residensiële strukture wat toegang tot basiese dienste sou verseker, het hierdie beleid egter gefaal. Toe die staat nie sy doelwitte kon bereik nie, is daar besluit om private beleggings te lok. Hierdie privaatsektor gedrewe beleid, wat ontwikkeling binne 'n genormaliseerde mark sou bevorder, het egter slegs gedien om ongelykhede te verskerp. Dit is dan ook dieselfde ongelykhede wat voorheen in die apartheidsbeleid verskans is. In 2004, na besef is dat verskaffing misluk het, het beleidmakers die staat bemagtig om te verseker dat gesubsidieerde behuising vir lae-inkomste groepe verskaf word, eerder as om behuising slegs aan die private sektor oor te laat. Die nuwe beleid het ingesluit die gebruik van verskeie finansiële en leweringsmeganismes, meervoudige behuising-tipologieë, en het duidelik die behoefte aan kapasiteitsontwikkeling vergestalt. Dit het ook die behoefte onderstreep wat daar bestaan vir landsburgers om deel te neem aan die proses van lewering van volhoubare nedersettings. Ten spyte hiervan is min sukses behaal. Hierdie studie voer aan dat daar 'n paar voorbeelde van geïntegreerde volhoubare menslike nedersettings in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks bestaan. Onlangse voorbeelde dui op huise van ‘n beter gehalte, 'n groter verskeidenheid van behuisingsopsies en tipologieë, geskikter ruimtes, die funksionering van die ontwikkelingsverhoudings en die gebruik van verskeie finansieringsmeganismes. Aan die ander kant, alhoewel regeringsamptenare die meeste projekte aanvaar as synde dat hulle voldoen aan die vereistes van Breaking New Ground (BNG), voldoen hulle nie aan die vereistes van die BNG se beleid nie. Hierdie studie voer aan dat die voorsiening van lae-inkomste-behuising bly fokus op die lewering van subsidies vir vrystaande huise sonder dat 'n reeks tipologieë en ook opsies ten opsigte van verblyfreg verskaf word. Basiese en maatskaplike diensvoorsiening is gebrekkig en soms totaal afwesig. Hierbenewens is die huidige finansiële modelle vir die ontwikkeling van volhoubare menslike nedersettings in lae-inkomste gemeenskappe nie in staat om in die basiese behoeftes van die gemeenskappe te voorsien nie. Dis duidelik dat ‘n tekort aan vaardighede binne die regering verhoed dat die lewering van behuising versnel en dat die strategieë vir deelname deur burgers aan die proses ook gefaal het. Ten slotte beveel hierdie studie aan dat die huidige stelsel vir die toekennings van subsidies vir die lewering van skuiling en behuising weer nagegaan word. Ondersteuning moet gegee word aan instellings wat finansiering voorsien en dit behoort uitgebrei te word na lae- en middel-inkomste families wat kredietwaardig is. Kapasiteitsbou-programme behoort geskep te word vir plaaslike owerhede wat dan alleen sal omsien na plaaslike ontwikkeling. Gemeenskapsorganisasies behoort ook bemagtig te word om leweringsprosesse te bespoedig. Die provinsiale regering se magte en gesag moet inkrementeel oorhandig word aan plaaslike regering soos kapasiteit binne plaaslike owerhede self uitbrei.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20153
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