Rural Subsidies | Western Cape Government

Rural Subsidies

In rural areas, many people don't have legal rights over their land but they do have functional security of tenure. For example, tenure granted in terms of the laws and customs of tribes, the custom, usage or administrative practice in a particular area or community or beneficial occupation of State land for a continuous period of not less than 5 years. These kinds of tenure are protected under the Protection of Informal Land Rights Act while land reform processes are implemented.

However, people who don't have legal tenure are not able to access subsidies under the Housing Subsidy Scheme so a special subsidy has been developed.


The subsidy will only be granted to individuals whose informal rights are uncontested and who are unlikely to lose those rights during the current land reform process. In addition the individual must comply with all other qualification criteria specified in 3.1.1 of the User Friendly Guide.

In terms of land held by a community, should an individual be granted a rural subsidy and then lose the rights to his or her land, a process has been put in place whereby the person can qualify for another subsidy.

While the subsidy is called a rural subsidy it is not limited to rural areas only and is made available in urban areas as well. This form of subsidy is regarded as a subsidy of last resort as it is seen as desirable that secure rights of tenure are provided wherever possible.

The subsidy can only be accessed on a project basis, but there is no minimum or maximum number of participants imposed. The Provincial Housing Development Boards are allowed to accredit implementation agents to identify, plan and implement projects in terms of this subsidy.

The approved subsidy is paid to financial agents identified by the Provincial Housing Development Board who administer the disbursement of the funds.

Rural subsidies may be used for any housing related purpose agreed with the Provincial Housing Development Board.

Provided by:
Government Body: (Housing Delivery)
The content on this page was last updated on 28 August 2013