An investigation into why housing consolidation projects only reach 70%-80% of intended beneficiaries on closure of the project in Metropolitan Durban.
When the Government of National Unity (GNU) came to power in South Africa in 1994, it inherited a housing sector with severe abnormalities as a result of the policies and political turbulence of the apartheid era (Department of Housing/DOH, 2000a). One of the main problems was and is still the enormous housing backlog facing large sections of the country's population both in rural and urban areas. The housing crisis in South Africa has received extensive attention by the South African government, non-profit organizations and international actors such as research and aid organisations since the demise of apartheid. This shows the historical and present interest on the SUbject. The most significant development in housing policy in 1990 was the creation of the Independent Development Trust (lOT). The lOT, was a parastatal, a government created institution in 1991, which was to address the housing needs of the country's poor. As one form of housing subsidisation, housing consolidation subsidies have been used in housing projects for households to build new houses or improve existing structures on the serviced sites that were previously subsidized through the Independent Development Trust (lOT) in the 1990's. The realisation that between 20%-30% of beneficiaries do not take occupancy at the end of a specific project, has brought a serious concern to the Housing Department, local community structures and Project Managers. This study, focuses on the Durban Metropolitan Area; it intend to increase one's understanding of why consolidation housing projects only reach 70%-80% of intended beneficiaries on closure of the projects. The housing consolidation projects in Luganda and Savannah Park, Southern Pinetown, Durban, which are the sUbject of the present stUdy, were initiated in 1996 and 2000 respectively with the intent to deliver over 2000 houses in both study areas. These are being investigated. The study takes a form of a wholes tick approach and tries to make a link between the absent beneficiaries and those who informally transfer their property to new owners. The reason is simply that the 20-30% originally intended beneficiaries are not benefiting from the Consolidation Housing Subsidy. The study aims to look at alternative, cheaper and affordable ways of obtaining title deeds for people who have bought sites informally from the authentic officially recognised beneficiaries. Lastly, the study will contribute by data gathering and analysis, to the understanding of the phenomenon of low-occupancy and informal or de facto transfer of property.
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