A study of the current South African housing environment with specific reference to possible alternative approaches to improve living conditions
Lategan, Louis Gerhardus
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In South Africa issues regarding the dissatisfactory delivery of low-cost housing developments are well known. Low-cost housing has generally been delivered in a manner which attempts to address housing backlogs, instead of focussing on establishing quality environments and sustainable communities. In order to address the current deficient approaches to low-cost residential development, a literature and empirical investigation was conducted with the purpose of exploring the South African status quo. Issues for improvement were researched within the existing knowledge base. The literature reviewed for this study encompassed government literature, policies and legislation as well as work from both national and international authors from a variety of fields, given the diverse nature and multiple impacts related to housing development. These literary works provided evidence to the conclusions drawn and informed the recommendations made accordingly. The empirical research conducted included several structured interviews, the distribution of questionnaires and the evaluation of various South African case studies. Empirical results added a quantitative measure to the evidence provided by the literature study and thus offered further conclusions and recommendations. The recommendations made were categorised according to their contribution to planning, management and design. It is believed that the adoption of these preliminary recommendations may greatly improve the housing delivery process and quality of life experienced by low-income beneficiaries. The issues covered in this study include research, conclusions and recommendations on: * Investigating the South African status quo with regard to housing policies and legislature. * Identifying the merits of historical theoretical models and their value in modern day housing development. * Discussing the importance of a locally focussed development approach with regard to the role of local municipalities versus provincial authorities in low-cost residential development. * Identifying the value of low-cost housing in local economic development and sustainable socio-economic growth. * Discussing the role of community participation in delivering sustainable neighbourhoods and communities. * Investigating the need for higher density development with specific reference to the integration of various housing typologies. * Exploring the relevance and benefits of alternative construction materials in low-cost residential development. * Exploring the informal backyard rental sector. * Exploring the approaches followed in South African case studies of varying successes in various provinces. It should be noted that the research conducted for this study, the conclusions drawn and the recommendations made provide substantial value, but are all mainly provided as preliminary concepts to be elaborated in a future PhD study.