The impact of migration on providing adequate housing in South Africa

11 Oct 2019

The paper aims to argue that South Africa needs to tighten its border control in order to curb uncontrolled immigration to afford service delivery of its own people. Migration dominates South Africa's history in many ways. The diversity of the country's languages, cultures and religions is the testimony of its migration history. The influx of migrants into the country puts a huge burden to the Department of Human Settlements to provide adequate housing for the citizens who are unable to provide housing for themselves. Currently, residents of foreign countries are being attacked due to lack of service delivery particularly in housing arena. In 2018, the Department of Human Settlements had a housing backlog of estimated 2.1 million houses. The informal settlements are mushrooming with shacks belonging to non-South Africans. Shack dwellers often burn houses adjacent to them during protests. Such acts put more budgetary burden to the Department of Human Settlements. However, creating sustainable human settlements and improving the quality of life for the citizens is the main focus of Outcome 8 of the National Development Plan (hereafter referred to as NDP) vision. The democratic government of South Africa is mandated by section 26 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 to provide access to adequate housing for citizens. This is a conceptual paper and it argues that migration hampers housing service delivery. It is recommended that the democratic government tighten borders or develop migration control measures in order to alleviate the escalating housing demand on the democratic government.