News & events


Harnessing the Potential of Backyard Rental Housing: Lessons from a pilot study in Joe Slovo Park

05 November 2018
10:00 - 16:00

Date: 5 November 2018:

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

HSRC, 116-118 Merchants House, Buitengracht, Cape Town –

Venue: VC facilities available at HSRC offices in Pretoria and Durban by arrangement CONVENORS Ivan Turok and Seth Maqetuka The programme is available for download below

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details are indicated below.
Collaborative HSRC, Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) and the City of Cape Town (CCT) report launch
Harnessing the Potential of Backyard Rental Housing: Lessons from a pilot study in Joe Slovo Park
Backyard rental is the fastest-growing form of housing in SA. Backyard dwellings offer the potential to accelerate the supply of affordable housing, raise urban densities in good locations and generate incomes for poor homeowners. Harnessing people’s own energy and ingenuity can also help to alleviate capacity and resource constraints within the state. However, the quality of the accommodation is very uneven, public services are often overloaded, and there are various risks to health and safety. All spheres of government are struggling to cope with rising informality and engineer a shift from direct provision of mass housing towards a more enabling approach.
This workshop explores the lessons emerging from a pilot study of backyard housing in Joe Slovo Park, Cape Town. The study was initiated by the City of Cape Town, supported by GTAC and the Cities Support Programme. This area was selected because (i) it is well-located and has experienced rapid densification through backyard structures, and (ii) many of the utility services have reached capacity and cannot be upgraded because of encroachments into the road reserve and around the facilities. The combination of intense settlement, poverty and failing infrastructure has created complex governance challenges.
Key questions to be explored include:
• What types of backyard accommodation are the most and least functional?
• What is driving the considerable stress and strain on the physical and social fabric?
• What can be done to upgrade public services and infrastructure?
• What are the lessons for stabilising the social environment?
• What policy mechanisms could create more robust backyard development?

Kindly RSVP by 2 November 2018  to Keenan Fernandez <>

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