The state of housing in Ekurhuleni: urban infilling vs megaprojects in the Leeuwpoort development, Boksburg

Vigus-Brown, Martyn Sonny
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Post-apartheid housing development in South Africa has been one of the consistent struggles and critiques of the national government. With provision for housing being one of the most critical challenges faced by the nation’s government, it is also one of the basic rights each citizen holds, emphasising its necessity in government’s addressing of it. With the transformation of the national housing policy from 1996 based on the Reconstruction and Development Programme, to Breaking New Grounds in 2004, a common reoccurrence between the two housing policy practices has been the lack of socio-spatial and socioeconomic integration and sustainability in developments. This thesis works to assess and analyse the new housing policy approach under Breaking New Ground: Megaprojects, taken out in Gauteng since the turn of 2015. The research aims to understand how a mega housing project in Ekurhuleni – Leeuwpoort – and its development plans and practices grapple with the tension between building houses and building a socially and economically self-sufficient and sustainable human settlement as envisaged. In order to understand what is trying to be achieved at Leeuwpoort and what different stakeholders expect out of the megaproject, methods focused on analysing regional planning and project documentation; interviews with local state officials, planners and ward councillors, and analysis of local media. Findings note that whilst the approach to the Leeuwpoort development is a step on the right path to creating a sociospatially and socio-economically integrated post-apartheid Boksburg; there is still a lot to be planned for in regards to the economic mechanisms of megaproject developments post-development. However, political pressure with regards to combating the housing backlog within unrealistic timelines has resulted in miscommunication and uncoordination between spheres of government in the project planning. The future of the project in terms of its scale of delivery and effect on fragmented urbanism is uncertain. This research seeks to contribute to the growing literature on mega human settlements in South Africa and housing studies in other Gauteng municipalities such as Ekurhuleni.
A dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science to the Faculty of Science, School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2019
Vigus-Brown, Martyn Sonny (2019) The state of housing in Ekurhuleni: urban infilling vs megaprojects in the Leeuwpoort development, Boksburg, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>