Exploring the housing allocation policy for subsidised housing for low-income beneficiaries in South African cities: a case study of eThekwini Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Shange, Nkanyiso Thobani.
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The post-apartheid era (1994) in South Africa, saw the development of legislations, policies and procedures directed towards redressing the socio-economic imbalances caused by the Apartheid government. In its objective to address the illnesses of the country, the ANC government tackled the housing sector with its first reconstruction policy aimed at delivering low-income housing with no detailed plan of distribution. Municipalities later developed policies, bylaws and guidelines responding to the need of having allocation guidelines in place to govern and inform housing allocation. This study explores the extent to which the eThekwini Municipality administers its housing allocation process for low-income housing. The study addresses four main objectives; the first objective explores how subsidized housing is allocated to low income beneficiaries in eThekwini Municipality. The second objective assesses the role of role players in the implementation and allocation of subsidized low-income houses in eThekwini Municipality. The third objective examines the level of community member’s participation regarding the allocation of houses, including low-income housing through the eThekwini Cornubia Housing Project. The last objective unpacks the challenges that contribute to the outcry of people during the housing allocation process in the eThekwini Municipality. The study adopted a qualitative research approach for the collection of information through semi-structured interviews conducted with key informants involved in low-income housing allocation in eThekwini Municipality and Cornubia housing project. The information gathered from the interviews was analysed using thematic analysis. After analysing the information, the results revealed that the present allocation processes are a result of path dependence and lack of institutional transformation. Furthermore, most role players obscure the integrities of the housing allocation process therefore creating confusion, frustration, mis-information and assumptions of corruption for the public. Consequently, the study concludes that eThekwini Municipality’s allocation process is a result of institutional layering, where a gradual shift in the allocation of low-income housing, has occurred but without changing existing institutional arrangements. Institutional conversions occurred only in response to the post-apartheid policies. The study recommends that the government should focus on building the character of municipal officials, as this will curb most issues emanating from the administration of the housing allocation process.