Core housing, enablement and urban poverty : the consolidation paths of households living in two South African settlements
The objective of this thesis was to enhance the understanding of both the formation of core housing settlements in South Africa and the consolidation processes which take place after residents have occupied the housing. Whilst the usually unassisted, consolidation efforts of residents of informal settlements and mass built government housing have been well studied, there were relatively few studies which gave a comprehensive understanding of longer term physical consolidation in settlements which had been designed and built with a view to extension. The central research question was whether core housing should be accepted as a sufficiently supportive institutional and physical framework for allowing or enabling households to counter situations of urban poverty, achieve adequate housing, and integrate themselves into the city. Two case studies were chosen which represented the delivery of core housing at scale, one being Inanda Newtown in Durban (about 4000 houses occupied from 1981), and the other being Khayelitsha in Cape Town (about 5000 houses occupied in 1985). Some 444 respondent households were interviewed in 1996 using a mainly quantitative method, as were stakeholders involved in the initial production and ongoing support of the areas. The study was retrospective and comparative of the two settlements. Inanda Newtown represented the delivery of larger, shell houses and lower levels of service, where an NGO had supported the process for a protracted period and established a local authority also supportive of consolidation. Khayelitsha represented the delivery of smaller core houses with higher levels of service and an unsupportive institutional context. A critical realist framework was adopted to enhance the understanding of the power relations between the various urban actors involved in the production, support and consolidation of core housing, and thus the causal mechanisms which shaped the personal projects of households as they attempted to achieve their own housing consolidation projects. In the conclusion the relevance of the findings to the current South African policy context and to global development thinking was discussed.