News & events


Backyard Real Estate – Webinar

18 November 2020
12:00 - 14:00



Date: 18 November 2020                        
Time: 12h00 – 14h00

Livestream via Zoom

Kindly RSVP by 17 November 2020

Please find the link to the Backyard Real Estate below:

The prsentations are available for download below:

For further information contact: Arlene Grossberg | E:

Register beforehand on:

You will then be sent an email with confirmation and instructions on how to join the seminar.

Harnessing the Potential for Township Development

Backyard housing is booming across many South African townships. Enterprising households and small-scale developers are investing in solid single- and double-storey flats. This is boosting the supply of decent rental accommodation and offering opportunities to kick-start the recovery and create jobs from the bottom-up. Yet, the informal and unregulated character of these developments creates risks for public infrastructure, neighbourhood stability and sustainable environments. This webinar organised by the HSRC brings together key role players to debate the main policy issues arising from this new phenomenon:

How can backyard real estate be leveraged to bolster township economic development?
How can backyard developments contribute to more liveable township environments, rather than overcrowded and insanitary conditions?

The Covid-19 crisis demands urgent efforts to bolster township economies and increase the supply of affordable housing. Presenters will discuss ways of strengthening linkages across the housing value chain, scaling-up construction activities, widening access to external finance, streamlining onerous regulations and increasing the skills and capacity of township enterprises. The webinar will also explore the desirability of precinct-based approaches, mixed-use developments and formalisation strategies to maximise the public benefits and transform townships into more liveable and sustainable neighbourhoods. The webinar will conclude by reflecting on the lessons learnt and provide suggestions for the way forward.  


Mr Jak Koseff, Office of the Premier, Gauteng Provincial Government
Mr Charles Rudman, City of Cape Town
Ms Claire du Trevou, Bitprop
Mr Zama Mgwatyu, Development Action Group
Mr Paul Jackson, TUHF (TBC)
Mr Neville Chainee, National Department of Human Settlements


Prof Ivan Turok, Dr Andreas Scheba, Dr Justin Visagie, HSRC-UFS SARChI Chair collaboration

Key readings for interested participants can be downloaded here.

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please also note that this seminar may be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel.

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