A significantly increased role in the housing process: The municipal housing planning implications of BNG

  • Lauren Royston Development Works, South Africa
Keywords: municipal housing planning, Breaking New Ground, BNG, South Africa


This article offers a perspective on ‘Breaking New Ground’ (BNG) for municipal housing planning, on the premise that an applied understanding of the document is hard to achieve. This perspective is based on several housing consulting projects undertaken by Development Works between 2004 and 2007. The article argues that BNG’s main messages are hard to distil, a problem of interpretation experienced especially at the municipal sphere of government. The article identifies four main outcomes that BNG is intended to achieve, unpacks what they mean and then applies them to municipalities, noting some of the challenges in such application. It locates this perspective in the broader policy context of planning for housing as part of municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). Through an interrogation of the substantive policy significance of BNG, the main contribution this article seeks to make is an interpretation of the key messages that BNG contains for municipalities and municipal housing planning in particular.


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