Government housing rectification programme and practice in South Africa: A case study of three selected Eastern Cape communities
Sharpley, Gaster Gilbert
MetadataShow full item record
In 1994, democratic South Africa adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The construction of houses for the poor was framed as a fundamental measure of restoring the dignity of the poor and as a victory for rational policy making in South Africa. The mass building of free housing was intended to address homelessness, reduce informal settlements and promote social change through home ownership. But, within the first five years, serious defects emerged in a large number of houses. In 2006, this resulted in the Department of Housing introducing a Rectification Programme that was intended to be for a limited period, but was extended due to the unprecedented number of defective houses. This study covers three rectification sites in order to probe the hidden costs, human consequences, and the contradictory policy processes and politics of accountability in public housing. The sites cover projects in an urban, rural and Peoples Housing Process (PHP), thereby covering the broad spectrum of housing delivery. The study involved quantitative and qualitative research with beneficiaries, practitioners and politicians. The popular perception is that rectification is the outcome of shoddy workmanship, but the study proves that there are several other underlying considerations that drove the programme, including the framing of the housing ?problem?, homeownership as a paradigm and resulting issues of house maintenance. The rectification of RDP homes is a metaphor for misdirected policy and implementation failures in South Africa.