Informal backyard rentals through a social sustainability lens – a case study in Oudtshoorn, South Africa

Keywords: Social sustainability, low-income housing, informal backyard rental

Abstract

Social sustainability is a significant field of research in post-apartheid South Africa, given the challenges and inequalities faced, evidenced in urban landscapes where millions reside in informal settlements and informal backyard rental accommodation. This article investigates the informal backyard rental phenomenon in South Africa through a social sustainability lens, focusing on a case study in Bridgton and Bongolethu, Oudtshoorn. Qualitative and quantitative research findings unveil several features in support of social sustainability framed by familial connections between landlords and backyard tenants. The article also uncovers certain challenges presented by informal backyard rentals and social sustainability, predominantly related to the quality of structures and certain social concerns. In its totality, the article provides a contextualised perspective on social sustainability in the informal backyard rental sector and provides the planning community and other decision makers with a more nuanced understanding of the complexities and potentials that may underpin it in small town South Africa and beyond. 

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Published
2019-06-12
Section
Articles