World Bank economist calls for more affordable housing near CBDs

20 November 2014

South African housing policy makers should consider buying land and building affordable houses closer to central business districts (CBDs), where job opportunities exist, to boost employment, World Bank Africa region chief economist Francisco Ferreira, BD Live reports.

He spoke in an interview following his presentation at the Wits University.

“I think it will probably help reduce unemployment if we think of policies and ways that permit people to live closer to their jobs,” he said.

Government has built millions of low-cost houses for the poor since the advent of democracy. However, beneficiaries often say the houses are too far from business districts.

“Even though the land is more expensive there (business districts) you just have to think of the broader benefits of that housing if it helps promote more integration,” Mr Ferreira said.

Skills development and quality education would also help to address high unemployment, the chief economist said. SA has 5.1-million unemployed people, defined as actively looking for work but unable to find any.

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