Assessment of the Public Policy Processes followed in Low-Cost Housing Provision since 1994 Presentation to the HSRC Conference (17September2009) by Mr Leepo Tsoai Outline 1. Introduction 2. Theory of Public Policy Making 3. Policy Making Processes 4. South Africa’s Housing Policies since 1994 5. Challenges facing policy implementation and recommendations Introduction • In order to understand the complexity of the processes followed during the formulation of Housing Policies in S.A • Policies are formulated respond to some of the challenges that might have been identified Introduction • It is therefore, the objective of this research to assess the policy processes within the Department of Housing, specifically the provision of low cost houses to the poor • These policy processes are from the formulation their implementation Theory of Public Policy Making What is a policy and what is public policy? • Anderson(1984:3), Policy is a purposive course of action by followed actors in dealing with a problem and public policies are those policies formulated by governmental bodies and officials Theory of Public Policy Making Aspects in the description of pubic policy • Public policies should be goal-oriented • Public policies are courses or patterns of action by government officials and not separate, discrete decisions • Public policies should be based on law and should be authoritative Public Policy Making cont… • Public policy is thus the outcome of a political process that involves negotiation, bargaining, persuasion and compromise • For a policy to be regarded as a “public policy” it must to some degree have been generated or at least processed within the framework of governmental procedures, influences and organizations (Hogwood and Gunn, 1984:23-24) The public policy making process Fig1. Adopted from Van Der Waldt (2001:94) Environment Problem identification Agenda setting Policy formulation Policy adoption Environment Policy implementation Policy evaluation South Africa’s Housing Policies Since 1994 • Negotiations about the new housing policy had been taking place even before the first Government of National Unity was installed until 1994 • The establishment of National Housing Forum at the Botshabelo Housing Conference in 1992 • Drafting of racially inclusive White Paper on Housing (A new Housing Policy Strategy for South Africa, 1994) South Africa’s Housing Policies Since 1994 Cont….. Reconstruction and Development Programme • Deemed the first step for the provision of low-cost housing to the poor • However, the RDP, like any other policies, has always had it processes clouded by a lot of inappropriateness (Collapsing structures because of weak building materials • RDP- was building rows of houses in the outskirts of townships which replicated the Apartheid style of settlements People’s Housing Process (PHP)/Self Help Housing of (1998) • The two tittles are used interchangeably and described as self provision of shelter and basic services by poor communities • PHP was to ensure maximum participation by beneficiaries as well as stake holders such as NGO’s and CBO’s • The introduction of PHP was as a result of internal and external influences, the Homeless People’s Federation as well as the UN People’s Housing Process • The poor, with scarce resources, were able to produce good quality dwellings, more cost effectively than the government i.e. they optimized scarce resources; Self-help housing, because of its focus on use value, produced better architecture than commodified housing; The poor can organize themselves and improve their own economic conditions; Management issues can be done through collective self help; • • • Critics of PHP • Counter perception about PHP that the state is abrogating in its responsibility to provide shelter to the poor (Charlton & Kihato, 2006: 264) • In delivery terms, the PHP’s performance has been poor • Although the DoH does not provide a ‘PHP subsidy’ and keeps no records of houses built in this way, only a small percentage – probably less than 3 per cent – of subsidized houses built since 1994 can be regarded as PHP products (Baumann (2003:9) Social Housing in South Africa Social Housing policy in South Africa • Established as a Section 21 company by the DoH in 1997 Its Aims include among others: • Provide rental or co-operate option for low income earners • To bring about a form of integrated accommodation that will bring people closer to their jobs and means of transportation Social Housing policy in South Africa • Established as a Section 21 company by the DoH in 1997 Its Aims include among others: • It is however stated that Social Housing is not an option for the poor, a person has to have a form of stable income to be able to afford monthly rentals This is because specified income bands should cater for households whose incomes are inflation indexed • PHP ……. The question of affordability • • If this is not done people who are earning the same real income may suddenly become ineligible The raising of income bands will also accommodate the recommendation that rentals be escalated on an annual basis (at CPIX). In the event that a household is unable to afford these rent increase, it will be required to vacate the unit in favour of cheaper accommodation (National Department of Housing, 2004: 6) • Breaking New Grounds • The approval Of BNG initiative kicked off in September 2004 • It is a comprehensive housing plan that seeks to bring about Integrated Sustainable Human Settlement • BNG also seeks to eradicate the country’s informal settlements as part of the governments' plan aimed at 2014/15 e.g The N2 Gate-Way project in Cape Town along the N2 Freeway Challenges facing policy implementation and recommendations • In 1995, South Africa’s housing backlog was estimated at approximately 1,5 million housing units • This backlog had a wide reaching impact, both on the physical as well as the social and political expression of people’s lives Challenges facing policy implementation and recommendations The crisis manifests itself in many ways: - Sprawling shack settlements, increasing land invasions, bond and service charges boycotts, and the general tension and insecurity that comes from living in such poor conditions - To date the government is still battling to provide housing to the ever increasing demand Challenges facing policy implementation and recommendations Cont… • In housing, central government has a leading role in making policy but implementation is largely the responsibility of local authorities, housing associations and other agencies • In some circumstances policies fail because of poor policy design Challenges facing policy implementation and recommendations Cont… • Different types of policy instrument should be considered according to the level of support for the policy, the level of information available about the policy area, and the level of commitment among implementing agencies.
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