Improving access to the socio-economic right of housing

The Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) is an independent not-for-profit research & advocacy think tank that seeks, through research, to provide rigorous empirical evidence to improve policies to reduce poverty and inequality. Through community-based partnerships we strive to centre the experiences of people affected by poverty in our studies, & through social dialogue we aim to surround decision-makers with optimal access to both in order to advance the realisation of the transformative principles contained in the Constitution.

Despite a very progressive constitution, far too many people continue to face a present and future characterised by depressing deficits of fundamental rights in South Africa. Historical deprivation for the majority of the people in the country under Apartheid is exacerbated by policy failure, political ambivalence to change, and institutional failings at all three levels of government.

Building on work that SPII has undertaken over the last six years that plots the realisation of the constitutional socio-economic rights, and, initially focusing on the right to human settlements in Gauteng province, SPII proposes a multi-layered action that seeks to understand current failings, explore innovative solutions and grow knowledge about making things work in an effort to accelerate transformation in South Africa. We believe that there is an urgent need to develop new modes of engagement that involve multiple actors operating in a new manner of safe and constructive dialogue to achieve the solutions necessary for South Africa and the region. It is also an opportunity for SPII to utilise empirical research work that we have undertaken in the recent past to advance better policies, and to link grass roots interventions with high level decision-making.