Economic empowerment of housing beneficiaries

Adams, Junay (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A premise of this thesis is that too much emphasis is still placed on dealing with the crisis of housing provision, rather than planning for housing development in South Africa. Little consideration is given to the economic improvement of the housing beneficiaries. The following research question was posed: What can and should be done in order for housing beneficiaries to become economically empowered? Government has the obligation to enhance and maintain the personal social welfare of its inhabitants. Housing is part of a package of social welfare services that includes physical health as well as the incorporeal element within a human being. Housing is also a process of how people came to be housed, starting at the moment when they first apply for a house. Economic empowerment should be linked to the four dimensions of development, i.e. equity, capacity-building, participation, self-reliance. Equity leads to economic empowerment by providing equal access to economic opportunities. capacity-building has aspects of developing skills, providing access to, and establishing supportive structures for economic empowerment. Participation is concerned with achieving power to influence decisions. Finally, self-reliance is linked to economic empowerment because it refers to the ability of people to produce most of its basic needs as well as producing surpluses with which to trade for those commodities and services which it does not produce efficiently itself (Burkey, 1993:51). Economic empowerment of housing beneficiaries implies a micro, individual level focus of economic development. According to Gildenhuys (1993:26) economic welfare refers to the development of the economic and material welfare and prosperity of the individual. Apart from a micro focus, a multi-objective focus is required for sustainability. According to Dalal-Clayton and Bass (2000:12), sustainable development entails balancing economic, social and environmental objectives. Finally, there are two dimensions to economic empowerment, namely, empowerment of the housing beneficiaries, as well as empowerment of development facilitators. Evidence of shortcomings of development projects relating to economic empowerment was provided in this thesis by means of applying the findings of an empirical research project in Wesbank to economic empowerment. The research explored the management processes that were implemented that eventually resulted in outcomes not being desirable. It was explained that the initial "scattering" of opportunities to emerging contractors was not part of a concerted approach for the primary beneficiaries to become economically empowered. This housing development project did not only fail to ensure economic empowerment, but also denied the housing beneficiaries what little economic activity they were involved in prior to the move. The Wesbank evidence was also linked to the views and findings of various authoritative sources that confirmed that government development projects in general, have an unfortunate track record when it comes to economic empowerment of so-called beneficiaries. Two case studies from the United States were used to illustrate that integrated development provides the context for the economic empowerment of housing beneficiaries. Four economic development foci then provided the framework within which solutions were formulated: residential dispersal and mobility, enhancing the capacity of housing beneficiaries, investing in economic empowerment of women, and changing the mindset of the developers. This framework embodies the how of economic empowerment of housing beneficiaries.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Aanname van hierdie tesis is dat te veel klem steeds geplaas word op die hantering van krisisse t.o.v behuisingsvoorsiening, eerder as beplanning vir behuisingsontwikkeling, met min inagneming vir ekonomiese bemagtiging van behuisingsbegunstigdes. Die volgende navorsingsvraag word gestel: Wat kan en moet gedoen word ten einde ekonomiese bemagtiging vir behuisingsbegunstigdes te bewerkstellig? Regerings het 'n plig om die persoonlike sosiale welsyn van landsinwoners te bevorder en te handhaaf. Behuising is deel van 'n pakket van sosiale welsynsdienste wat fisiese gesondheid sowel as die psigiese element van mens wees insluit. Behuising is ook 'n proses wat begin die oomblik wanneer 'n persoon die eerste keer aansoek doen vir 'n huis. Ekonomiese bemagtiging moet gekoppel word aan die vier dimensies van ontwikkeling, naamlik gelykheid, kapasiteitsbou, deelname, en onafhanklikheid. Gelykheid lei tot ekonomiese bemagtiging deurdat dit gelyke toegang tot ekonomiese geleenthede bevorder. Kapasiteitsbou sluit in ontwikkeling van vaardighede, verskaffing van toegang, en die oprig van ondersteunende strukture vir ekonomiese bemagtiging. Deelname bevorder die toename in mag om besluite te beïnvloed. Onafhanklikheid word gekoppel aan ekonomiese bemagtiging omdat dit verwys na die vermoë van mense om self in die meeste van hul basiese behoeftes te voorsien. Ekonomiese bemagtiging van behuisingsbegunstigdes impliseer 'n mikro, individuele vlak fokus op ekonomiese ontwikkeling. Volgens Gildenhuys (1993:26) verwys ekonomiese welvaart na die ontwikkeling van die ekonomiese en materiële welvaart en vooruitstrewendheid van die individu. Behalwe 'n mikro fokus, is 'n multi-doelwit fokus ook noodsaaklik vir volhoubaarheid. Volhoubare ontwikkeling behels die balansering van ekonomiese, sosiale en omgewings doelwitte. Daar is twee dimensies van ekonomiese bemagtiging, naamlik bemagtiging van die behuisingsbegunstigdes, sowel as bemagtiging van ontwikkelingsfasiliteerders. Bewyse van tekortkominge in ontwikkelingsprojekte aangaande ekonomiese bemagtiging word voorsien d.m.v die toepassing van bevindinge van 'n empiriese navorsingsprojek in Wesbank op ekonomiese bemagtiging. Die navorsing het die bestuursprosesse ondersoek wat gevolg was in die projek en uiteindelik ook veroorsaak het dat die uitkomste onwenslik was. Die aanvanklike verspreiding van geleenthede teenoor opkomende kontrakteurs was nie deel van 'n gefokusde plan vir die primêre begunstigdes om ekonomies bemagtig te word nie. Die behuisingsprojek het nie net daarin gefaal om ekonomiese bemagtiging te bewerkstellig nie, maar het ook die bietjie ekonomiese aktiwiteit waarin begunstigdes betrokke was voor die skuif na Wesbank, weggeneem. Die bewyse in Wesbank word ook gekoppel aan die sieninge en bevindinge van verskeie gesaghebbende bronne wat bevestig dat regeringsontwikkelingsprojekte oor die algemeen 'n swak rekord het wat betref ekonomiese bemagtiging van sogenaamde begunstigdes. Twee gevallestudies van die VSA is na verwys om te illustreer dat geïntegreerde ontwikkeling die konteks verskaf vir ekonomiese bemagtiging van behuisings begunstigdes. Vier ekonomiese bemagtiging fokus areas verskaf 'n raamwerk waarin oplossings geformuleer is: verspreiding en mobiliteit, verbetering van kapasiteit van begunstigdes, ekonomiese bemagtiging van vroue, en verandering van die denkpatroon van ontwikkelingsfasiliteerders. Hierdie raamwerk stel voor die hoe van ekonomiese bemagtiging van behuisingsbegunstigdes.

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