Department Of Human Settlements

Department Of Human Settlements

Department Of Human Settlements, The Department came into being in 1994 after the dawn of democracy. Its roots can be traced back to 1956 when the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown. The clause that says: There shall be houses, security and comfort is the founding base for the department. Also the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) state that access to housing is a basic human right, the government has to ensure that an environment conducive to progressive realisation of the right.
Constitution of South Africa (Chapter 2: Bill of Rights Housing)
Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing. The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right. No one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.
Housing Act
To provide for the facilitation of a sustainable housing development process; for this purpose to lay down general principles applicable to housing development in all spheres of government, to define the functions of national, provincial and local governments in respect of housing development and to provide for the establishment of a South African Housing Development Board, the continued existence of provincial boards under the name of provincial housing development boards and the financing of national housing programmes; to repeal certain laws; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Housing Code
The National Housing Code, 2009 sets the underlying policy principles, guidelines and norms and standards which apply to Government’s various housing assistance programmes introduced since 1994 and updated. The purpose of this guide is to provide an easy to understand overview of the various housing subsidy instruments available to assist low income households to access adequate housing. The detailed description of the policy principles, guidelines, qualification criteria and norms and standards are available in the National Housing Code.
A nation housed in sustainable human settlements
“To facilitate the creation of sustainable Human Settlements and improved quality of household life.”

Department Of Human Settlements History

The formulation of South Africa’s Housing Policy commenced prior to the democratic elections, with the formation of the National Housing Forum. This forum was a multi-party non-governmental negotiating body comprising 19 members from business, the community, government, development organisations and political parties outside the government at the time. At these negotiations the foundation for the new government’s Housing policy were developed and agreed to. This culminated in the achievement of the broad housing sector convention also referred to as the Housing Accord that concluded into the White Paper on Housing 1994 The Government of National Unity in 1994 made use of these negotiations and investigations when it formulated South Africa’s National Housing Policy.
In October 1994 a National Housing Accord was signed by a range of stakeholders representing the homeless, government, communities and civil society, the financial sector, emerging contractors, the established construction industry, building material suppliers, employers, developers and the international community. This accord set down the beginning of the common vision that forms the essence of South Africa’s National Housing Policy. Most importantly, it comprised an agreement that all of these stakeholders would work together to achieve the vision encapsulated in the Accord.
The National Housing Accord was soon followed by the Housing White Paper which was promulgated in December 1994. The White Paper sets out the framework for the National Housing Policy. All policy, programmes and guidelines which followed, fell within the framework set out in the White Paper.
The promulgation of the Housing Act, 1997 [Act No. 107 of 1997] [the Housing Act] legislated and extended the provisions set out in the Housing White Paper and gave legal foundation to the implementation of government’s Housing Programme. The Housing Act aligned the National Housing Policy with the Constitution of South Africa and clarified the roles and responsibilities of the three spheres of government: national, provincial and municipal. In addition the Housing Act lays down administrative procedures for the development of the National Housing Policy.


Contact Information


The office of Human Settlements Ombudsman
Call Centre: 0800 1(HOUSE) 46873 Weekdays 6a.m – 10p.m
Fax Number: 012 341 8512
Fraud & Corruption: 0800 701 701
Address: Govan Mbeki House, 240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0002
Postal Address: DHS Private Bag X644, Pretoria, 0001
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