Review of the Right to Housing

The following review of South African housing policy and development since 1994 forms part of a larger research project run by the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII). This broader project seeks to compile a measurement matrix capturing the progressive realisation of socio- economic rights by the government, as required by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996. To develop such a monitoring and evaluation tool is an ambitious, but necessary, aim. South Africa receives routine praise for having put justiciable socio-economic rights in its Constitution and for being one of the few countries in the world to do so. Observers particularly commend the South African Constitution for imposing positive obligations on the state  regarding  socio-economic  rights,  requiring  proactive  policy  formulation,  budgetary allocation  and  effective  implementation.  However, without effective accountability and measurement mechanisms for   tracking the realisation of socio-economic   rights, the implementation of this socio-economic rights framework cannot be tested. An adequate tool could help corroborate the experience of NGOs and community-based organisations working on housing rights in South Africa since 1994, that is, the failure of government policies to live up to their stated goals and the negative consequences that policies aimed at improving access to housing have at times had for their intended beneficiaries.

Full document: Review of the Right to Housing