Black people lead in paid-off homes

25 January 2011

More black South Africans live in homes which are fully paid for than any other race group in the country, according to a study by the SA Institute of Race Relations.

“The relatively high home ownership figures for Africans, particularly in urban areas, are a triumph over laws such as the Natives (Urban Areas) Act of 1923, which sought to limit home ownership of this population group,” Kerwin Lebone of the institute’s research department said in a statement on Monday.

The study conducted by the SAIRR found that some 60 percent of black households in the country had fully paid-up the homes in which they lived in 2009, compared to 46 percent for other race groups.

The institute said the higher home ownership figures for black people could in part be explained by state-subsidised housing programmes.

In South Africa’s two most affluent provinces, Gauteng and the Western Cape, 34 and 42 percent of households respectively had fully paid off their homes.

The less wealthy Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces had higher home ownership figures, with 71 percent of households in both provinces having paid off their homes.

“The total number of households that owned and had fully paid off their homes, out of a total of 13.8-million South African households, was just over 56 percent. Out of the total fully paid homes, male-headed households made up 56 percent and female 44 percent.”

Seventy percent of all households headed by women had fully paid off their homes, while only half the households headed by men had fully paid up theirs.