Living in: Cape Town, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Tracy Jooste is a public policy practitioner working in the field of human settlements in South Africa. She has a special interest in urban development, socioeconomic rights and housing finance. She is currently Director for Policy and Research at the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements. Here she leads a dedicated team of professionals to develop policies that address the significant need for housing amongst lower income households. Current research projects focus on expanding support to informal settlements, addressing the affordability of housing and understanding the link between health and human settlements.
Tracy is passionate about working collaboratively to design policy solutions and oversees a number of partnership agreements. She also serves on national policy, research and legal forums in human settlements.
Prior to joining the public sector in 2012, Tracy worked in consulting for several years, advising government across a range of areas including urban systems, municipal finance and local governance as well as institutional development and benchmarking. She also has experience in academia having been a Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in the early years of her career.
Tracy holds a master’s degree in public policy and a bachelor’s degree in economics and politics, from UCT. In 2011 she obtained a post-graduate diploma specialising in housing and urban finance from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
My interest in inequality stems from the realities of living and working in the Western Cape – a highly unequal region with a significant need for adequate housing. Despite massive government investment in housing and infrastructure, the urban landscape remains socially and economically divided. Urban transformation, socioeconomic rights and the creation of integrated, sustainable human settlements are central to my work in public policy. I believe that addressing inequality is a collective effort and if government is to widen its reach and impact, it must widen the circle of partners that it engages with. This includes communities, non-profit organisations and academia as well as the private sector.
The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity is an exciting opportunity for collaboration and creative problem- solving. I am inspired by the AFp’s focus on diversity, innovation and leadership development. Through this initiative I hope to grow my capacity to address pressing issues related to inequality within the housing sector specifically.
I have a keen interest in housing finance as a tool to unlock opportunities for lower income households. I aim to pursue studies in development finance in future and contribute meaningfully to the design of diverse housing finance instruments.