An assessment of South African housing co-operatives : the case of Ilinge Labahlali housing co-operative, Nyanga, Cape Town

Herbst, Adriana (2010-12)

Thesis (MPA (Public Management and Planning))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Co-operatives as a form of business have a long history in South Africa. The successes of agricultural co-operatives are well known. Housing co-operatives, however, are a relatively unfamiliar concept as a form of business to provide tenure, and for those who are involved in it, a frustrating and long process to obtain housing. This study examined the issue of housing co-operatives as part of addressing the housing crisis in South Africa taking into consideration that this specific model (housing development co-operatives) does not fall under the Social Housing sector anymore. It involves a comprehensive literature study of the history of co-operatives internationally and in South Africa as well as analysing different models implemented internationally and in South Africa; a review of legislation; policies affecting housing co-operatives; analysis of data and information and surveys of housing co-operatives. The specific aims of the research were: • To determine the different models of successful housing development cooperatives internationally; • To determine the viability and sustainability of housing development co-operatives in Third World Countries; • To determine the current status of the registered housing co-operatives in South Africa; • To determine the different models implemented in South Africa; • To evaluate the housing development co-operative sector in South Africa; • To determine the viability and sustainability of a registered housing development co-operative in Cape Town, (Ilinge Labahlali Housing Co-operative, Nyanga, Cape Town, South Africa); and • To determine the challenges faced by the co-operative and how they foresee these challenges being overcome. The study followed a survey design, including both qualitative and quantitative aspects. The qualitative approach related to the views and opinions of co-operative members with regards to the socio-economic impact that the co-operative have had and the quantitative approach relates to statistical and measurable data obtained from the Department of Trade and Industry in terms of a number of variables such as: type of co-operatives, categories indicated and Province representation. For the purpose of this study, only housing co-operatives were contacted and research was conducted on the state of housing co-operatives and if each housing co-operative meet the selection criteria of the Housing Development Co-operative Model. In critically assessing housing co-operatives in South Africa, it was determined that the unacceptable level of support from all three tiers of Government, was the prime problem experienced by housing co-operatives. Several reasons can explain this, the most prominent as follow: 1. The Department of Trade and Industry’s lack of proper record keeping and administration; 2. Housing development co-operatives do not benefit from the Social Housing sector in South Africa; 3. Department of Housing’s lack of knowledge with regards to the housing cooperative sector; 4. No synergy between different Government departments with regards to housing cooperatives; 5. Municipalities do not have the know-how regarding co-operatives and/or display an unwillingness to assist housing co-operatives; 6. Housing co-operatives established by outside agencies/Government departments receive no follow-up and support; 7. No proper Government housing co-operative department focusing on housing delivery with the necessary knowledge and support mechanisms in place. It is clear that in the late nineties, the co-operative principle was promoted by the Department of Housing, Social Housing Foundation and community workers alike as the new brain child of international agencies (Rooftops Canada, Norwegian Government, Swedish Government) to secure housing for communities building on the concept of “ubuntu”. Afterwards the emphasis were shifted to Social Housing Institutions and rental tenure and the few housing co-operatives registered, were left in the cold with no support structures available to them. With no support from international agencies, national-, provincial- and local Government the future of these housing co-operatives are bleak. Co-operative members are community driven, but without the necessary capacity-building and institutional support, community members become despondent and the co-operative principles of “working together to achieve more” are seen as just another scheme which failed in the delivery of housing. This study found that the grass root housing co-operative with the support of all levels of Government can be successful providing that community structures such as saving groups and hostel committees are in place.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Koöperasies as bedryfsvorm het ’n lang geskiedenis in Suid-Afrika. Die welslae van landboukoöperasies is wel bekend. Behuisingskoöperasies is egter ’n relatief onbekende konsep as bedryfsvorm om eiendomsreg te verskaf en vir diegene wat daarby betrokke is, is dit ’n frustrerende en uitgerekte proses waarvolgens behuising bekom kan word. Dié studie het die behuisingskoöperasie-aangeleentheid as deel van die aanspreek van die behuisingskrisis in Suid-Afrika onder die loep geplaas met inagneming daarvan dat hierdie spesifieke model (ontwikkelingsbehuising-koöperasies) nie meer onder die Maatskaplike Behuisingsektor ressorteer nie. Dit het ’n omvattende literatuurstudie van die geskiedenis van koöperasies internasionaal en in Suid-Afrika behels, asook ’n analise van verskillende modelle wat internasionaal en in Suid-Afrika toegepas word; ’n oorsig van relevante wetgewing; beleidsrigtings wat behuisingskoöperasies raak; analise van data en inligting, en opnames van behuisingskoöperasies. Die spesifieke doelwitte van die navorsing was: • Om die verskillende modelle van geslaagde ontwikkelingsbehuising-koöperasies internasionaal te bepaal; • Om die lewensvatbaarheid en volhoubaarheid van ontwikkelingsbehuisingkoöperasies in lande van die Derde Wêreld te bepaal; • Om die huidige status van die geregistreerde behuisingskoöperasies in Suid-Afrika te bepaal; • Om die verskillende modelle wat in Suid-Afrika toegepas word, te bepaal; • Om die behuisingsontwikkeling-koöperasiesektor in Suid-Afrika te evalueer; • Om die lewensvatbaarheid en volhoubaarheid van ’n geregistreerde behuisingsontwikkeling-koöperasie in Kaapstad (llinge Labahlali Behuisingskoöperasie, Nyanga, Kaapstad, Suid-Afrika) te bepaal, en • Om die uitdaging wat deur die koöperasies in die gesig gestaar word, te bepaal en hoe daar gemeen word dié uitdaging te bowe gekom gaan word. Dié studie is aan die hand van ’n vooropgestelde opnamepatroon uitgevoer wat kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe aspekte ingesluit het. Die kwalitatiewe benadering was gerig op die sieninge en menings van koöperasielede met betrekking tot die sosioekonomiese impak van die koöperasie, en die kwantitatiewe benadering het te make gehad met die statistiese en meetbare data rakende ’n aantal veranderlikes, soos soorte koöperasies, aangeduide kategorieë en provinsiale verteenwoordiging, wat van die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid bekom is. Vir die doel van hierdie studie is daar net met behuisingskoöperasies geskakel en navorsing is gedoen op die stand van behuisingskoöperasies en of iedere so ’n koöperasie aan die keuringskriteria van die model van die ontwikkelingsbehuising-koöperasie voldoen. Na kritiese beskouing van behuisingskoöperasies in Suid-Afrika, is daar vasgestel dat die onaanvaarbare mate van ondersteuning wat van die drie vlakke van regering ontvang word, die vernaamste probleem is waarmee behuisingskoöperasies te kampe het. Onder die talle redes wat as verduideliking kan dien, is die volgende die mees prominente: 1. Die Departement van Handel en Nywerheid se gebrek aan deeglike rekordhouding en administrasie; 2. Ontwikkelingsbehuising-koöperasies vind nie baat by die Maatskaplike Behuisingsektor in Suid-Afrika nie; 3. Die Departement van Behuising se gebrek aan kennis met betrekking tot die behuisingskoöperasiesektor; 4. Gebrek aan sinergie tussen verskillende regeringsdepartemente met betrekking tot behuisingskoöprasies; 5. Munisipaliteite beskik nie oor die kundigheid ten opsigte van koöperasies nie en/of toon onwilligheid om behuisingskoöperasies by te staan; 6. Behuisingskoöperasies, wat deur buite-ondernemings/regeringsdepartemente gestig word, ontvang geen onderskraging nie en daar is ook ’n gebrek aan enige voortgesette belangstelling in hulle doen en late. 7. Daar is geen geskikte behuisingskoöperasie aan regeringskant wat fokus op die voorsiening van behuising en wat oor die nodige kennis en ondersteuningsmeganismes beskik nie. Dit is duidelik dat die beginsel van koöperasies in die laat jare negentig deur die Departement van Behuising, die Maatskaplike Behuisingstigting, gemeenskapswerkers, en dies meer, as die nuwe breinkind van internasionale agentskappe soos Rooftops Canada, die Noorweegse regering, die Sweedse regering bevorder is om behuising vir gemeenskappe te verseker wat op die konsep “ubuntu” gebou het. Daarna is die klem na Maatskaplikebehuisingsondernemings en huurbesit verskuif en die enkele geregistreerde behuisingskoöperasies is sonder enige ondersteuningstruktuur aan hulle eie lot oorgelaat. Met geen ondersteuning van die kant van internasionale organisasies, nasionale, provinsiale of plaaslike regering nie, is die toekoms van dié behuisingskoöperasies maar bra droewig. Koöperasielede is gemeenskapsgedrewe, maar sonder die nodige kapasiteitsbou en institusionele onderskraging, het lede van die gemeenskap wanhopig geraak en word die beginsel van “saamwerk om meer te bereik” bloot beskou as net nog ’n plan wat ten opsigte van behuisingvoorsiening gefaal het. Dié studie het bevind dat die voetsoolvlak-behuisingskoöperasie – met die onderskraging van alle vlakke van regering – wel geslaagd kan wees, mits gemeenskapstrukture soos spaargroepe en hostelkomitees in plek is.

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