sustainable land-use management. Other programme areas detailed in Agenda 21have been interred within these three broad programme areas. To ascertain thedegree to which South Africa has been successful in developing sustainable humansettlements in terms of Agenda 21 this report will briefly focus on the performance of the major programmes, there achievement in relation to the cross-cutting issuesprovided by the Commission on Sustainable Development, the obstacles andconstraints for developing sustainable human settlements and finally the identificationof strategies and actions to ensure better human settlements. This analysis will bereinforced by examples of best practices.
Providing Adequate Shelter for All
Performance of the Housing ProgrammeResponsibility for facilitating shelter provision for the poor in South Africa rests withthe Department of Housing. Since 1994 the key mechanism for achieving this hasbeen the housing subsidy. The subsidy provides up to R25 580 ($4 167) for the poor who meet specific criteria. In the decade since it began the programme has seen 1.5million houses being constructed, with approximately 6 million citizens havingreceived housing. In total it has seen R24.22 billion ($3.5 billion) being spent onhousing for the poor. Simply by providing the poor with an asset in terms of shelter;basic connector services such as water, sanitation and internal roads; as well assecure tenure, the Housing Programme has contributed significantly to alleviatingpoverty. By subsidising these aspects of residential development the subsidy hasprovided the foundation to enable beneficiaries to make additions to the core housingunits and provides a foundation to accumulate assets. Besides the subsidy, theDepartment of Housing enables low-cost housing by mobilising housing credit for beneficiaries and builders through the:
National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) which provideswholesale capital for intermediaries lending to the target group; and
The National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency (NURCHA)which provides guarantees for the housing development sector toensure access to capital.To ensure that quality low-cost housing is constructed the National Home BuildersRegistration Council (NHBRC) manages a warranty scheme that sets norms andstandards for the construction of low-income housing. All low-income houses builtneed to comply to the warranty as a part of the housing construction process.Ensuring secure tenure is a major component of the Housing Program, and subsidybeneficiaries receive freehold tenure with their new home. Other tenure optionsencouraged are rental and communal tenure, as provided through social housingoptions. Ensuring the right to secure tenure are two acts: The Extension of Securityof Tenure Act (ESTA) which aims to protect people who live on rural or peri-urbanland with the permission of the owner or person charge of the land, and the