The housing careers of black middle-class residents in a South African metropolitan area

Lochner Marais, Joris Hoekstra, Mark Napier, Jan Cloete, Molefi Lenka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)


    Under apartheid, black African households could not own land or homes in most major urban centres in South Africa. This limited residential mobility and locked many households into state rental accommodation in townships. Homeownership for all South Africans was restored in the mid-1980 s and the Group Areas Act was repealed in 1991.
    Democracy opened up economic opportunities previously unavailable to black people. This paper investigates the effect on black middle-class South African households’ residential mobility and housing careers. A retrospective cross-sectional survey of 244 such homeowners in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality determined their last five housing states. Changes in housing state indicated a steady improvement in housing quality, but tenure changes were not necessarily unidirectional—some had reverted to rental. More than 85% of the study participants had used mortgages to finance their housing career. Very few had financed their housing using own savings, an inheritance, or sale of a previous house, and not many had used the government subsidy. We found that housing careers are bridging the historical spatial racial divide in this municipality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)843-860
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

    Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


    • Black middle class
    • Housing careers
    • Housing quality
    • Housing states
    • South Africa


    Dive into the research topics of 'The housing careers of black middle-class residents in a South African metropolitan area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this