Public to private ownership: an analysis of the challenges characterizing formal housing transfer in Diepkloof (Johannesburg)
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The transfer of housing ownership in Diepkloof responds to both formal and informal processes and practices. Many amongst the residents in Diepkloof see both as having circumstantial advantages and disadvantages contrary to the administrative assumption that the formal process is more beneficial. This paper, which is a product of a qualitative study carried out in Diepkloof in 2007, acknowledges that the post-apartheid housing ownership transfer from municipal to private ownership has been well received by and is of a major economic significance to beneficiaries. It has significantly put an economic value to the houses and a gratifying sense of ownership as thrust Diepkloof into the active property market. Furthermore, it argues in line with its findings that contrary to mainstream thinking; informal ownership transfers were regarded as beneficial and are more popular than formal processes in Diepkloof. Residents argue that through the informal process they can negotiate prices and terms of payment with their clients using expressions they understand. This is not possible when financers and legal experts such as banks and law firms are involved in formal processes as they usurp all decision-making powers. It therefore concludes that although formal processes drive the housing market, informal processes prove to make more economic sense besides being more friendly and understandable.