The principles and achievements of housing policy during the government of President Nelson Mandela are assessed. In order to make the assessment, the specific meter of a World Bank list of policy 'do's' and 'don'ts' that are part of a strategy to enable markets to work is employed. It is argued that while the government conformed to the list in principle, the technical way in which policy was formulated set up tensions to housing delivery. Using the South Africa experience, a series of important challenges to the World Bank list is outlined
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