On 23 October 2017, SERI's executive director, Stuart Wilson, was interviewed by the SABC’s senior reporter, Candice Nolan, regarding the City of Johannesburg’s “the City” continuing strategy to force the poor out of the inner city in order to renovate so-called "bad buildings" and create low-cost rental accommodation.

The proposed rental accommodation is, however, likely to be unaffordable for people currently living in the inner city. The City intends to hand over occupied buildings to private developers to provide affordable rental housing. Wilson cautions against this approach and states that “the private sector cannot afford to provide housing for poor people and at the same time make a profit.”  According to the 2011 Census, over 50% of the households in inner-city Johannesburg earn less than R3 200 a month. This means that they cannot afford to pay rental of more than R800 a month. The use of the private sector to provide affordable rental accommodation will result in the vast majority of low income households being are priced out of the rental market.

Furthermore, Wilson raised serious concerns with the approach taken by the City in attaining the required buildings and placing importance on physical buildings rather than the people living in them. More concerning is the use of police raids to force people to leave their homes.


  • Listen to the full podcast here.
  • Read SERI's research report on the lack of affordable rental housing in inner-city Johannesburg here.