Waiting for the state: politics of public housing in South Africa
The South African Bill of Rights states that citizens have a right “to adequate housing” and that housing is a basic need. The state is obligated to take reasonable measures to realise this right, confirmed through the Constitutional Court qualification in regard to available resources.
The funding and building of more than 3 million housing units in the post-apartheid era to date reflects this national commitment. Yet, for the majority, waiting to access housing is the norm.
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has noted that there are 2.2 million households living in 2700 informal settlements and backyard shacks across the country. As the number of households increase by 350,000 annually, the yearly delivery of 140,000 houses leaves a significant deficit.