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Policy Brief 5 - Aligning Urban Housing Supply and the Unhoused Urban Population

The populations of major cities are increasing at an alarming rate mainly as a result of urbanisation. This growth presents challenges to aspects of city management, including the additional housing required to accommodate the growing number of unhoused city dwellers. Human settlements is one of the sectors affected by urbanisation, as households that have moved to the cities have to be provided with adequate and decent housing. To understand the extent of unhoused households in South African metropolitan municipalities, the Financial and Fiscal Commission undertook research on the extent of the housing gap
by comparing urban housing supply with the unhoused urban population.
The research also reviewed challenges with respect to housing funding programmes, particularly the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP). The study revealed that while housing gaps exist across all household income groups, this is most pronounced for those households earning less than R9000 per month, while qualifying beneficiaries who are single and without dependents are excluded by FLISP.

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FFC Policy Brief Cover 4Policy Brief 4 - Public Transport and Mobility

Despite policy, the implementation and performance of the full set of transport functions by urban municipalities has been slow. Only four of the 13 cities that receive grants have an operational bus service
in parts of their cities. South African urban municipalities are experiencing a funding gap that limits their ability to implement integrated public transport networks (IPTNs), and to take on the full set of public transport functions. This is due to the significant capital requirements, and considerable operating shortfalls resulting from high costs and limited system revenues. The most promising potential sources of additional income to bridge this gap include the fuel levy, parking levies, parking tariffs and congestion charges. The Department of Transport should review the Public Transport Network Grant, investigate options to shift sources of funding towards retaining locally-earned fiscal revenue, and ring fence the local income sources for public transport use.

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FFC Policy Brief Cover 3Policy Brief 3 - Are City Policies and Regulations Responding to the Call For Compact Cities

Compact city policy has elicited debate among urban policy makers with some strongly advocating for it, while others cite its disadvantages. In 2011 a study by the Financial and Fiscal Commission found that as an urban form, a compact city is likely to have social, economic and environmental benefits. While some legislation and associated policies have, in theory, sought to address spatial inequalities in practice they have failed to do so. The highly fragmented urban form, the segregation of land uses and low density urban sprawl all add to the poor generic urban performance of South African cities. Further, these issues result in an inefficient transportation system, degraded natural and cultural environments, declining local economies and increasing poverty, inequality and unemployment among the poor.

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FFC Policy Brief Cover 2Policy Brief 2 - Towards Sustainable Urban Development Assessing the IUDF and CSP

Since 1994, government has introduced numerous policies driven by the urgent need to address inequality and past injustices. In spite of the many years of resolute post-apartheid urban development, the imprint of apartheid spatial geography is still evident in cities, as they remain segregated, fragmented and unequal. The Financial and Fiscal Commission has examined whether urban policies, planning processes and practices represent a sound and adequate response to urbanisation challenges at the level of cities. Not with standing policies on urban development, cities are still confronted with rapid urbanisation, urban poverty and inequality.

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FFC Policy Brief Cover 1Policy Brief 1 - Responding to South Africa's Urban Development Challenge

Urban areas are demographically, economically and politically important, being home to 62% of South Africa’s population. While cities may contribute significantly to the economy, they face serious challenges to sustainable and inclusive development. These include high levels of poverty, socio-spatial inequalities, infrastructure deficits, insufficient skills and uneven educational performance. Economic growth, poverty and inequality-reduction objectives will require harnessing the growth potential and other transformational attributes associated with urban areas. The Financial and Fiscal Commission found that certain conceptual, structural and fiscal challenges impede effective urban development spending and programmes.

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