Fund to tackle housing shortage

Cape Town - Government plans to set up a guarantee fund of R1 billion to incentivise the private banking and housing sector to develop new products to meet the country's housing demand.

President Jacob Zuma, in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament this evening, said a key new initiative would be to accommodate people whose salaries are too high to get government subsidies, but who earn too little to qualify for a normal bank mortgage.

This forms part of government's work towards upgrading informal settlements and providing proper service and land tenure to half a million households by 2014.

The government is to set aside over 6 000 hectares of "well located" public land for low income and affordable housing, said Zuma.

The government was also busy rolling out various pilot projects of its Comprehensive Rural Development Programme which was launched last year in Giyani, Limpopo.

Zuma said since the pilot was launched there last year, 231 houses had been built, while access to health and education has improved, infrastructure had been provided to support agricultural development and training to the community.

Similar programmes are being rolled out in seven other sites, benefiting 21 wards.

By 2014 the government aimed to have sites in 160 wards with the aim that 60% of households at these sites would be able to meet their food requirements through production of their own foodstuffs. - BuaNews