Original Research

Critical analysis of the role played by apartheid in the present housing delivery challenges encountered in South Africa

Noah K. Marutlulle
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 10, No 1 | a373 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v10i1.373 | © 2022 Noah K. Marutlulle | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2019 | Published: 09 December 2022

About the author(s)

Noah K. Marutlulle, School of Governance and Public Admin, Faculty of Management and Commerce, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa; and, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: The transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa inadvertently wrought significant changes particularly on the housing arena. The remnants of the apartheid housing system posed a daunting challenge to the present government’s efforts to deliver affordable housing.

Aim: This article sought to analyse the role played by apartheid in the present housing delivery challenges encountered in South Africa.

Setting: The study was conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa and the population comprised of a variety of stakeholders throughout the country with a vested interest in housing.

Method: The study is exploratory in nature and used the qualitative methodology. In addition, literature review and documentary review – including reviews of policies pertaining to housing, particularly in South Africa – were performed to assist in providing an overview of areas in which the paper is disparate and interdisciplinary.

Results: Key findings suggest that the apartheid government played a huge role in the housing challenges being encountered in South Africa – through its laws that segregated black people and regarded them as sojourners who could not own houses in urban areas but only in Bantustans and impoverished rural areas.

Conclusion: This article confirms the widely held belief that the apartheid government largely contributed to the housing challenges experienced in South Africa from when it (the present government) assumed power up to the present period and beyond.


challenges; contribution; housing; impoverished; policies; population growth


Total abstract views: 1366
Total article views: 3023

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.