Challenges to the provision of subsidised housing at Umlazi township, eThekwini Municipality : implications for policy.
South Africa is 19 years into its democracy since the installation of a democratic government in 1994. Whereas, this at first glance resembles political success, it may not prevail without challenges. At the present time, the eradication of informal housing and informal settlements is advanced as the primary purpose of housing policy. This Dissertation studied the challenges to implementation of subsidised housing at Umlazi Towhship (P section) and implications for policy therein. The location was chosen because it is one of the biggest slums clearance locations in EThekwini Municipality. This study is qualitative. Non-probability sampling method was utilised in identifying four interviewees that formed part of this research. Interviewees were selected based on their occupation and expertise in the research area studied. Probability (random sampling) technique was utilised in gathering information from the surveyed community members. Questionnaires were administered to 25 African males and 25 African females between the ages of 18-50 earning below R 3 500 per month residing at Umlazi P section. The objective of the study was to explore the challenges encountered in the provision of subsidised housing in Umlazi. The findings indicated that shortage of suitable land close to the city, non-compliance with designated standards and norms, poor public participation, high demand of subsidised low cost houses, intervening policies and poor oversight are the core challenges affecting the provision of subsidised housing at Umlazi (P and B10) sections. The conclusions drawn from the findings are that the provision of subsidised housing should be understood in the context of social and economic development of the beneficiaries, not solely bricks and mortar. Policy implications are that due to shortage of affordable suitable land within the city, led to the peripheral location of housing which reinforces the legacy of the segregated communities. Furthermore in situ housing projects do not allow for proper planning in infrastructural development and housing design. This research therefore recommends that in the provision of subsidised housing, intended beneficiaries should fully participate as this will enable implementers to have an insight on what the beneficiaries expect and need in the provision of housing. This will help the residents of Umlazi to be the drivers of their own development. It is also recommended that the allocation of tender processes should be revised to curtail chances of poor workmanship, nepotism and cronyism in the delivery of public service as this somehow hampers efficient delivery of subsidised housing thus increases the existing housing backlog.