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Diane Arvanitakis (SHiFT) then proceeded to

quality housing rather than bulk housing. There is

respond to the questions on the local social housing

also a shift in expected housing types; the government

systems. In terms of addressing the demand of

is currently looking at the option of implementing

social housing and meeting the back log, Arvanitakis

subsidised rental housing which is more relevant for

suggested that this perception of meeting all the


demands within a specific time frame is quite

Professor Brendan interjected this response by suggesting to Mampura that perhaps the problem of cost escalations lay in the initial government agendas to focus on “cheap” alternatives and contracts. He indicated that these “cheap contracts” were unrealistic in producing a development and this inevitably leads to the increase in costs and often results in a poor end product. Linda Mampura’s (DoPW) response was that a department- defined project scope should avoid such a scenario and he again emphasised the role of set budgets and that these budgets are often very accurate both in cost and scale of the development. Mampura stressed the responsibility of the architect’s understanding and consideration of this when bidding to prevent escalations.

unrealistic and needs to change. Her opinion was

Linda Mampura recognised the issue of generic

that there needs to be a shift in focus to “delivering

drawings being unsuitably being applied to all

housing” and finding new housing solutions that are

sites as “unfortunate” and that the DoPW did not

not based on one type. A broad range of housing

promote this practice. He suggested that architects

options need to meet different lifestyles and this

were chosen to apply their creativity to these generic

will be the solution to meeting the back log, in

drawings and then provide a suitable design to the

contrast to “RDP give away houses” which won’t as

relevant context. Mampura also deliberated on

Arvanitakis emphasised. The broad range of housing

the problem of untrained project managers who

should also promote diversity in neighbourhoods

don’t have the relevant skills or experience to allow

and professionals should also consider how these

for creative flexibility, and this often hampers the

neighbourhoods can be easily accessible to services

development of a high-quality end product.

including transport. Caroline Sohie then added that this issue is perhaps Arvanitakis’ opinion on social housing developments,

underlined by the very dilemma of what is South

specifically RDP projects that are crime ridden

African identity and how to represent that in the

and offer “no social cohesion” is a quantity versus

built environment. Sohie indicated that the issue

quality issue that needs to be resolved. There is

isn’t just in poorer areas but also in high-income

also a general lack of understanding in the public/

neighbourhoods, where there is no real attempt in

private partnerships between the government as

defining and representing a South African identity.

land suppliers and developers who develop the

This identity crisis has a huge impact in preventing

houses. The result is a lack of attention from the

social cohesion or “integration” which is evident in

government’s side in terms of obtaining the quality

RDP developments. Sohie suggests that this dilemma

that is deserved, in relation to the value of the land.

has also evidently created social issues and general

Arvanitakis did however mention that government

lack of integration

has acknowledged this issue and that it is now more stringent with developers in terms of receiving

Procuring Architecture  

Report on the Flemish/South African workshop on Architectural procurement held at Wits University on March 24 2011.

Procuring Architecture  

Report on the Flemish/South African workshop on Architectural procurement held at Wits University on March 24 2011.