Managing informality and growing affordable Cape Town housing through partnerships

23 March 2021

Cape Town, as with many other cities in South Africa and in the rest of the world, has seen an unprecedented migration to urban areas over the last 20 years. The landscape has changed dramatically since the dawn of the South African democracy.

Since 2010, the City’s population has increased by about one million people due to the attractive financial and sound governance in Cape Town as well as the high access to basic and other services and economic opportunity.

Decline of national socio-economic situation


  • Judgment reserved in Tafelberg appeal hearing
  • Black and coloured people ‘continue to experience an apartheid city’ – Cape activists
  • Cissie Gool House occupants served with court order

Over the last decade there has, however, also been a marked decline in the national government’s financial management and governance. This continues to have a profound impact on cities at the coalface of communities, facing the growing needs for affordable housing and basic services and how cities tackle urbanisation in a manner that drives inclusivity and equity and that eradicates apartheid spatial patterns.

Human settlements delivery is beset with challenges, including R1.3 billion in housing projects under threat from ongoing orchestrated land invasions, national budget cuts reducing our Urban Settlements Development Grant by R118 million alone this year, a weak economy and regulatory red tape.

Innovative, partnership-driven and more cost-effective human settlements delivery options are required.

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