On 18 October 2019, the City of Johannesburg invited interested parties to comment on three draft policies that aim to address the growing need for housing in and around Johannesburg, particularly in circumstances that may lead to homelessness. The policies are the housing allocation policy, serviced sites policy, and the temporary emergency accommodation policy. According to the City, the three policies seek to:
“to guide the department and provide clear processes in how the department proposes to allocate beneficiaries to RDP houses, how it proposes to implement the new directive of giving people serviced sites to build their own homes, and how to better deal with the very challenging aspect of providing temporary emergency accommodation to those in need.”
In November 2019, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) submitted its comments on the City of Johannesburg’s Draft Policy on Temporary Emergency Accommodation in accordance with the invitation to submit written comments. SERI welcomes the City’s efforts to proactively plan for future housing needs. SERI’s comments on the draft policy draw attention to the following aspects:
SERI’s comments aligned closely with comments submitted by the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environmental Studies (CUBES) and the Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP) at the University of the Witwatersrand which submitted comments on all three of the City’s draft policies. CUBES and SA&CP’s comments on the Temporary Emergency Accommodation policy echo the need for a distinction to be made between natural disasters and evictions, and the need for the process around meaningful engagement to be reviewed.