Legislative Mandate


Section 26(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act No 108 of 1996) provides that everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing and subsection (2) obligates and enjoins the state through the Department of Human Settlements to use legislative and other measures to ensure the progressive realisation of this right.


Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 1999 (as amended by the Public Finance Management Amendment Act No. 29 of 1999)

To regulate financial management in the national and provincial governments; to ensure that all revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of those governments are managed efficiently and effectively; to provide for the responsibility of persons entrusted with financial management in those governments; and provide for matters connected therewith.

Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act No Act 5 of 2000

To regulate procurement of goods and services for the Department in compliance with section 217 of the Constitution by ensuring that all procurement processes are fair, transparent, equitable, competitive and cost effective.

Division of Revenue Act of every year during 2010/2014

To provide for the equitable division of revenue raised nationally among the national, provincial and local spheres of government for the 2010/2014 financial year; to provide for reporting requirements for allocations pursuant to such divisions; to provide for the withholding and the delaying of payments; to provide for liability for cost incurred in litigation in violation of the principles of co-operative governance and intergovernmental relations; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Conversion of Certain Rights into Leaseholds or Ownership Act No. 81 of 1988

This Act provides for the conversion of certain rights of occupation issued to a holder of a site situated in a township whether such township has been formalized or not- established under the now revoked Black Communities Act 4 of 1984, into leasehold or ownership. The Act therefore makes provision for the determination of affected sites or persons; an inquiry into affected sites; grievance (appeal) procedures; and the issuing of leaseholds or transfer of ownership.

Black Communities Development Act No. 4 of 1984

The Act was repealed save for Chapter 6 and the Regulations thereto. As will appear from the above paragraph, this Act is the principal Act 81 of 1988 and makes provision for the designation of certain areas as development areas and makes provision for township establishment.

Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act No. 112 of 1991

This Act makes provision for the upgrading of informal rights and the deeds of grant, leaseholds and quitrent title permission to occupy.

Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act

This Act recognizes certain informal rights to land. One of the functions of the section is to resettle people who are unlawfully occupying land. In the process, it is incumbent on the section to ensure that the informal rights to land are recognized in the process of such resettlement.

Housing Act No. 107 of 1997

Through this legislation, existing and future, and the Housing Code, the Department of Housing is carrying out its legislative imperative as set out in the Housing Act, 1997. Section 2 of the Housing Act, 1997 (Act No. 107 of 1997) compels all three spheres of government to give priority to the needs of the poor in respect of housing development (section 2(1)(a)). In addition all 3 spheres of government must ensure that housing development:

  • provides as wide a choice of housing and tenure options as is reasonably possible
  • is economically, fiscally, socially and financially affordable and sustainable is based on integrated development planning is administered in a transparent, accountable and equitable manner, and upholds the practice of good governance (Section 2(1)(c)).

Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act of 1998

The Act repeals the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act No. 52 of 1951 and makes provision for a fair and equitable process to be followed when evicting people who have unlawfully invaded land, from their homes. The Act also makes it an offence to evict legally without due process of law.

Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act of 1998

The Act provides for the establishment of a statutory regulating body for homebuilders. The National Home Builders Registration Council will register every builder and regulate the home building industry by formulating and enforcing a code of conduct. The implementation of the Act is monitored continuously.

Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999

This Act repeals the Rent Control Act of 1976 and defines Government’s responsibility for rental housing property. It creates mechanisms to promote the provision of rental housing and the proper functioning of the rental housing market. To facilitate sound relations between tenants and landlords, it lays down general requirements for leases and principles for conflict resolution in the rental-housing sector. It also makes provision for the establishment of Rental Housing. Tribunals and defines the functions, powers and duties of such Tribunals. Provincial housing departments are establishing Rental Housing Tribunals.

Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Act of 2000

The Act provides for the establishment of the Office of Disclosure and the monitoring of financial institutions serving the housing credit needs of communities. It requires financial institutions to disclose information and identities discriminatory lending patterns. The act will come into operation during 2003.

Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act No. 70 of 1970

This Act is used for Town Planning advice to the Department of Land Affairs on the subdivision of agricultural land.

Development Facilitation Act No. 67 of 1995

This Act provides directive principles to guide the drafting, adoption and implementation of all policies and legislation for all spheres of government regulating spatial planning, land use management and land development.

Townships Ordinance No. 9 of 1969

This Ordinance is used for the establishment of towns, subdivision and consolidation, amendment of the general plan and the amendment of town-planning schemes. The townships board is also instituted in terms of this ordinance.

Disestablishment of SA Trust Limited Act No. 26 of 2002

The winding down of the South African Housing Trust and the transfer of functions relating to financial obligations were completed during the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003 in terms of Act 2002: Disestablishment of SA trust Limited Act, 2002.

Less Formal Township Establishment Act No. 113 of 1991

This Act is specifically for guiding rapid township establishment where housing is in dire need.

Physical Planning Act No. 125 of 1991

This Act governs secondarily deals with land uses on farmland that is not agriculture related by way of permits and it also enables the amendment of guide plans and the evaluation of consistency regarding land development.

Social Housing Act, Act 16 of 2008

Regulates the Social Housing Market.

National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP)

The NSDP also included a mechanism aimed at aligning spatial choices around government investment and development spending across all sphere of government. This approach seeks to focus the bulk of fixed investments of government on those areas with the potential for sustainable economic development. In these areas Government’s objectives of both promoting economic growth and alleviating poverty will best be achieved. In areas of limited potential it is recommended that beyond a level of basic services which all citizens are entitled government should concentrate primarily on social investment such as human resource development, labour market intelligence and social transfers so as to give people in these areas better information and opportunities to gravitate toward areas with economic potential Programme performance.


The policy mandates applicable to the department are:

  • Medium Term Strategic Framework
  • Free State Growth and Development Strategy and provincial spatial development framework
  • State of the Nation Address
  • State of the Province Address
  • Budget Vote Speech of the Minister responsible for Human Settlements
  • MEC’s Budget Vote Speech
  • President’s Coordinating Council
  • Premier’s Coordinating Forum
  • Operational Clean Up (Audit) Programme
  • (Provincial) Operation Hlasela
  • Municipal Service Partnerships
  • National Disaster Management Framework
  • Regional Industrial Development Strategy (RIDS)
  • National Local Economic Development Framework
  • Free Basic Sanitation Implementation Strategy
  • National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP)