Evaluating the provision of low cost housing in the context of developmental local government : the case of Wesbank

Wyngaard, Deon A. C. (2002-12)

Thesis (MAdmin)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African Constitution (1996), guarantees everyone access to adequate housing, and obligates the State to take all reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve such right. This commitment to housing stands in sharp contrast to the previous housing regime, which was characterised by fragmented housing policy and administrative systems, unclear role definitions and a lack of accountability. In addition, Section 152 of the Constitution also sets out objectives for Local Government in the creation of sustainable communities. The new approach to housing saw the formation of the National Housing Forum (NHF) in the early 1990's. The NHF, consisting of a broad range of stakeholders in the State housing sector, sought to reach consensus on a new housing policy and strategy for South Africa. That consensus eventually led to the adoption of the White Paper on Housing (1994) and finally the promulgation of the Housing c Act (1997). Subject only to the Constitution, the latter would eventually become the supreme law on housing in South Africa. Fundamental to the new approach to housing, is the notion that the environment in which a house is situated, is equally important as the house itself. As such, emphasis is placed on the potential contribution of housing delivery in the creation of sustainable communities. The concept of Development Local Government is advanced as the key tool to achieving that ideal. This study traces the evolution of the historical, policy and legislative contexts of housing in South Africa during the transition period (1990 -1994) and beyond, and evaluates the provision of low-cost housing in the context of Developmental Local Government. This is done by way of a case study of the Wesbank housing development in the Oostenberg region of the City of Cape Town. The question is raised whether the Wesbank housing development adheres to the principles of a sustainable housing development as prescribed by the Housing Act (1997) and Developmental Local Government. The study concludes that, based on a "narrow" and "broad" interpretation of "sustainable housing development" as defined in the Housing Act (1997), the problem statements contain both elements of validity and invalidity. In terms of the narrow interpretation, it is concluded that the Wesbank housing development has delivered on some elements in the definition, while the broader definition concluded that the development was less successful in achieving the desired outcomes. Regarding the planning process followed in Wesbank, it is concluded that the notion of Integrated Development Planning has not been followed, there appeared to be some level of political interference in the planning processes, the process of community participation, which represents a crucial component of lOP, was non-existent, and while funding was secured for the construction of 5147 dwellings, no timely provision was made for associated community facilities such as schools, clinics, etc. More telling though, is the absence of any meaningful community bonding in Wesbank Finally, having considered the conclusions made, a number of recommendations are offered in respect of improving the environment for the Wesbank community.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Grondwet van Suid-Afrika (1996), waarborg aan almal toegang tot voldoende behuising, en verplig die Staat om alle redelike wetgewende en ander maatreëls, binne hul beskikbare bronne te gebruik ten einde hierdie basiese reg te verwesenlik. Hierdie verbintenis tot behuising staan in skrille kontras teenoor die vorige behuisingsbedeling, wat gekenmerk was deur gefragmenteerde behuisingsbeleid en administratiewe sisteme, onduidelike definisies en rol uitklarings, en 'n gebrek aan aanspreeklikheid. Bykomend, stel Artikel 152 van die Grondwet ook doelwitte vir plaaslike regering vir die daarstel van volhoubare gemeenskappe. Hierdie nuwe benadering tot behuising, het gelei tot die stigting van die Nasionale Behuisingsforum (NBF) in die vroeë 1990's. Die NBF, bestaande uit 'n breë groep belanghebbendes in die openbare behuisingsektor, was vasbeslote om konsensus te bereik oor 'n nuwe behuisingsbeleid en strategie vir Suid-Afrika. Sodanige konsensus het eventueel gelei tot die aanvaarding van die Witskrif op Behuising (1994) en uiteindelik tot die afkondiging van die Behuisingswet (1997). Onderworpe slegs aan die Grondwet, sou die Behuisingswet (1997) uiteindelik die oorkoepelende wet op behuising in Suid Afrika word. Fundamenteel tot hierdie nuwe benadering tot die voorsiening van behuising, is die gedagte dat die omgewing waarin 'n huis geleë is, net so belangrik soos die huis self is. As sodanig, word die potensiële bydrae van behuising tot die lewering van volhoubare gemeenskappe, beklemtoon. Die konsep van Ontwikkelingsgerigte Plaaslike Regering word voorgehou as sleutel gereedskap tot die bereiking van sodanige ideaal. Hierdie studie volg die ontwikkeling van die historiese, beleids, en wetlike konteks van behuising in Suid-Afrika gedurende die oorgangsfase (1990 - 1994) en daarna, en evalueer die voorsiening van laekoste behuising in die konteks van Ontwikkelingsgerigte Plaaslike Regering. Dit word gedoen by wyse van 'n gevallestudie van die Wesbank behuisingsontwikkeling in die Oostenberg streek van die Stad Kaapstad. In die finale instansie, word die vraag gestel of die Wesbank ontwikkeling voldoen aan die beginsels van volhoubare ontwikkeling soos voorgeskryf in die Behuisingswet (1997) en Ontwikkelingsgerigte Plaaslike Regering. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat, gebaseer op beide 'n "eng" en "breë" interpretasie van "volhoubare behuisingsontwikkeling", soos in die Behuisingswet (1997) gedefinieer, die navorsingsvrae beide elemente van geldigheid sowel as ongeldigheid bevat. Ingevolge die eng definisie, is die gevolgtrekking dat die Wesbank behuisingsontwikkeling wel aan sommige elemente in die definisie voldoen, terwyl die breër definisie bepaal dat die ontwikkeling minder suksesvol was in die bereiking van die beoogde uitkomste. Met verwysing na die beplanningsproses wat in Wesbank gevolg is, is die gevolgtrekking dat 'n Geïntegreerde Onwikkelingsproses (GOP) nie gevolg is nie, daar sprake van 'n mate van politieke inmenging in die beplanningsproses was, die proses van gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid, wat 'n kritieke komponent van GOP verteenwoordig, afwesig was, en terwyl befondsing vir die konstruksie van 5147 wonings verkry is, geen tydige voorsiening gemaak is vir gepaardgaande gemeenskapsfasilitieite soos skole, klinieke, ens. nie. Meer beduidend egter, is die afwesigheid van enige mate van gemeenskapssamehorigheid in Wesbank. Laastens, gegewe die gevolgtrekkings waartoe gekom is, word 'n aantal aanbevelings gemaak ten einde die omgewing van die Wesbank gemeenskap te verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52831