Housing provision and the need for an urbanisation policy in the New South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The aim of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) is to redress the inequalities created by apartheid. Unwittingly, however, the RDP may perpetuate many of the social divisions which were created by the policies of the National Party. This is because the RDP emphasises the racial inequality caused by apartheid, and forgets that a central goal of apartheid policy was to drive a wedge between rural and urban Africans. It did this by curbing African urbanisation and enforcing the migrant labour system. As a consequence, the new government has inherited a large population who live in rural slums, remote resettlement camps, displaced urban settlements and hostels. The RDP's response to the needs of these disadvantaged groups is to compensate them through the provision of rural housing and upgrading hostels in urban areas. However, is it enough for the new government simply to improve the housing conditions of these disadvantaged groups when their poverty is caused by their lack of access to urban jobs? Surely the RDP should aim to
transform these apartheid patterns of settlement instead of casting them, quite literally, in stone?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages5
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996

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