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A legacy of control? The capital subsidy for housing, and informal settlement intervention in South Africa

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  • Marie Huchzermeyer
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    Control over the urbanization process in South Africa was redefined after the mid-1980s, when the policy of 'orderly urbanization' replaced that of racially based 'influx control'. In the early 1990s, under the inspiration of the private sector-funded policy think tank, the Urban Foundation, a standardized capital subsidy was introduced as a means of financing the orderly settlement of poor households on peri-urban land. Currently, the capital subsidy may be considered the cornerstone of the South African national housing policy. This article examines how the capital subsidy framework has perpetuated the practice of control by submitting urban expansion in the lowest income sector to rigid regulation. It discusses recent responses from various sectors of the South African society, while also examining how continuity in the intervention approach was maintained from previous decades. The article points to a need to depart from the capital subsidy framework as a basis for informal settlement intervention in South Africa. Copyright Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 591-612

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:27:y:2003:i:3:p:591-612
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