Speaking at a conference on urban-development zones in Johannesburg, Viruly said that, although badly dilapidated, poor communities on the outskirts of the city-centres generally already contain the necessary social systems to create effective, sustainable low- to middle-income housing precincts.
He said that the formal process for development of residential space is to begin by planning, secure service delivery, build and then receive tenants.
However, when this system does not function properly, the opposite begins to happen, with people moving in first, and planning last - if at all.
Viruly is convinced that South Africa's national housing policy will prove a critical component in how people view land and, if unsuccessful, will result in land being sourced informally.
Not just bricks and mortar
Viruly said that it is common for developers, after identifying the demand for low-end residential units in South Africa's urban areas, simply to convert offices into residential space. He emphasised that converting office or industrial buildings into housing does not take into account the need for the surrounding social structures such as cr