‘Post-apartheid South Africa adopted legislation, policies and procedures to redress socio-economic imbalances,’ said Shange. He added that, while the Reconstruction and Development Programme aimed to deliver low-income housing, there was no detailed distribution plan. Municipalities later developed policies, bylaws and guidelines to govern and inform housing allocation.
The study found that, current allocation processes create confusion, frustration, misinformation and public perceptions of corruption. ‘EThekwini Municipality’s allocation process is a result of institutional layering, where a gradual shift in the allocation of low-income housing has occurred, but without changing existing institutional arrangements,’ said Shange.
He suggests that government should focus on building the character of municipal officials, as this would address most of the issues emanating from the administration of the housing allocation process.
‘It’s been a challenging journey that required my utmost discipline, dedication and resolve to finish. I found that juggling work and studies matured and taught me the importance of time management,’ he added.
The Master’s Programme in Housing provided Shange with research skills to add to the pool of knowledge in the area of housing and how it shapes societal arrangements as well as the structural reforms required for functional communities.
‘I encourage young people to study further to produce knowledge relevant for solving the gaps we see in our communities. They should change their mindset towards education to see it as not just means for material gain but as a required resource in shaping the different structures of our communities and country at large,’ he said.
He plans to pursue his PhD that will employ a multi-disciplinary approach to researching innovative methods in the area of housing.