Study of Effective Land Registration Usage in State-Subsidised Housing

  • Michael Barry
  • Lani Roux


Project II is the third case study to be reported on land tenure administration in state-subsidised housing projects the Western Cape which indicate that registration is effective in administering ownership. Internationally, many land titling programmes have not produced the benefits envisaged. In a number of South African state-subsidised housing projects a number of houses have changed hands off-register, which creates costly long-term land tenure administration problems. The Project II study examined the strategies that people use to defend their tenure and to effect transactions in land. While there are major problem cases in South Africa, the Project II study, building on two similar case studies, indicates that individual tenure, registered in ownership, can work in pro-poor housing programmes if the right conditions exist. Although there was evidence of off-register transactions in all three case studies, the situation can be improved by hands on management to create and maintain the enabling conditions for registration to be effective rather than major changes in law, policy and land administration practice. Distinctive, new knowledge, emerging from Project II is how an iconic “bad news” event can influence local knowledge and behaviour.

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eISSN: 2225-8531