After apartheid ended in South Africa its constitution included a list of basic rights the government should provide to all of its citizens. These rights include affordable housing, clean drinking water, sanitation, waste collection, and public transit options in large cities. Along with these codified rights, local governments were given more power and resources to provide these rights. Departments of transport, housing, and infrastructure were established at the municipal levels.
South Africa provides a case study on how difficult it is to enact change in urban environments to provide basic human rights, special equality, and pathways out of poverty. One of its first efforts to establish housing security was providing free public housing built by private developers. Because of the structure, this program rewarded contractors for constructing housing in remote areas, greatly increasing the cost of providing public transit and infrastructure to these locations.
Part of the issue with previous programs like these was the lack of coordination between different departments within a municipal. To respond to this, the South African government established special funds to help with communication and planning at the municipal level. Efforts have been made since then to coordinate among the departments that allowed for integrated planning to increase mixed-income density regions and provide pathways out of poverty for city residents to reduce spatial segregation and discrimination.
Lessons learned from this process have included: