The infamous Global Economic Crisis that began on 2008, originated in the housing sector in the United States of America (USA) and then spread to other parts of the American economy as well as to economies around the world. 

This paper focuses on the affordable housing market in Johannesburg South Africa. The specific focus is on how the crisis has different effects within the same city. Johannesburg is chosen as it is a key node in the economy of South Africa with a critical mass of a range of affordable housing which presents itself in different areas such as in the historical apartheid townships, inner city suburbs, the new townships created after apartheid (so-called RDP housing) and previously white working class areas. The paper will focus on two indicators for the performance of the housing market namely: sale prices, and property rate.

A content analysis approach will be a broad methodology to be used in the study. In this approach, a detailed and systematic examination of the contents of a particular body of material for the purpose of identifying patterns, themes or biases within that material is conducted. The Affordable Land Housing Data Centre database developed by FinMark Trust and Urban Landmark with support from Lightstone Property Services and Eighty 20 (which defines affordable housing as housing less than R500000) will be used as the key database. All of the 176 affordable suburbs/townships in Johannesburg will be considered in this comparative study. They will be differentiated in terms of the category of areas mentioned above. A smaller number of may be identified for a more detailed analysis.