Housing delivery: Making sense of the demand for state-subsidised housing in South Africa

W. D. Thwala, C. O. Aigbavboa, N. T. Ramovha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One of the challenges plaguing the government of South Africa (post-1994) is the dire shortage of adequate housing compared to the demand thereof. South Africa's constitution enjoins the state to ensure that everyone has access to adequate housing. To this end, the state is obligated to take reasonable legislative and other measures to achieve the progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing. Since 1994, South Africa has delivered about 4.5 million subsidized houses to the poor, and low to moderate income households through its National Housing Subsidy programme. This delivery benefitted more than twenty millions people with secured homes. Despite this significant achievement, the unmet demand for housing is rising, such that more than 2 million South Africans still live in squalor conditions in the nation's informal settlements, and in backyards of other people's homes. This study seeks to identify factors that contribute to the high demand for state subsidized housing in South Africa. To this end, a Questionnaire Survey was used to establish the perceptions of relevant Middle to Senior Managers, Professionals and Practitioners in the housing sector, about the reasons behind the high demand for state-subsidised housing in South Africa. Factor analysis revealed three underlying factor clusters of issues that are behind the high demand for state-subsidised housing. The factor clusters are the following, in order of their significance: (i) socio-economic issues, (ii) the current rate of housing delivery that is below the demand rate, and (iii) unintended consequences of the current housing policy. This systematic approach to understanding the reasons behind the high demand for state-subsidised housing is crucial and logical to enable the development and implementation of informed solutions for effective housing delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2487-2503
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd North American IEOM Conference. IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 27 Sept 201829 Sept 2018


  • Adequate housing
  • Housing delivery programme
  • Housing demand
  • South Africa
  • Sustainable delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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