Repository logo

Assessing the use of housing as a source of income in a rural settlement in KwaZulu-Natal, case of Gingindlovu.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Poverty and unemployment, particularly in developing countries, has led to low-income households resorting to different alternatives to make a living. This study assessed the use of housing as a source of income in a rural settlement, namely, Gingindlovu in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province, South Africa. The aim of the study was to assess whether residents of Gingindlovu extensions 5 and 6 use their state-subsidised houses as a source for income generation. The study’s objectives included understanding the use of Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses as an income source in a rural low-income settlement and the challenges experienced by residents in using their BNG houses to generate income. The Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and the Basic Human Needs Approach provided the theoretical framework. In terms of methodology, the study adopted qualitative and quantitative research approach which included an interview, observation and questionnaires as tools for data collection. Findings revealed the women comprised the majority of the housing beneficiaries who participated in the study. Beneficiaries who used their houses to generate income did so in a number of ways including running spaza/tuck-shops, a hair salon and doing mechanical repairs. Income generated assisted in meeting basic needs. Challenges faced included strong competition among the businesses and a limited market. Beneficiaries who had not established income-generating activities were keen to do so but lacked start-up capital and were hesitant to make use of loans. Recommendations included the need for government to establish financing mechanisms to enable housing beneficiaries to start income-generating activities from their homes and incorporate these mechanisms into new housing projects. Consideration should also be given to providing space in the houses for such activities and incorporating this into the design of the houses. In conclusion, the study emphasises that while the provision of BNG houses has not taken low-income households out of poverty it has, however, contributed to poverty alleviation in those households.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.