Gauteng saw an overall decrease of 8.7% in informal housing units not situated in backyards between 2001 and 2011. This trend is true of all municipalities in the province. * Between 2001 and 2011 however, the number of backyard dwellings increased in Gauteng, with Ekurhuleni demonstrating an increase of 30 157 units, Tshwane an increase of 26 536 units and Johannesburg counting 45 320 more units in 2011 than 2001. *
An increase in public housing over the decade could account for the decrease in standalone informal dwellings. The economic benefits inherent in tenure, which could be achieved through public housing allocation and an increase in formal dwelling ownership, could be responsible for an increase in backyard informal dwellings, as more home owners let out their yards for multiple forms of residential occupation. Importantly, new approaches to improving informal settlement conditions, such as in-situ upgrading could result in informal settlements rightfully gaining validation as viable forms of human settlement in the GCR.