Gauteng strengthens housing partnerships

Pretoria – Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo says there is a big appetite in the private sector to provide affordable housing and to assist government to overcome the huge backlog in housing.

MEC Mamabolo made the comments during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Gauteng Provincial Government and Old Mutual.

The signing of the agreement, which took place in Sandton on Tuesday, formally marked the start of a relationship that will help the province to deliver on the Mega Cities Strategy.

MEC Mamabolo said while generally people believe that government is about RDP homes, the truth is that it must respond to all housing needs of those who have difficulty accessing the property market.

“We have a huge so called ‘gap market’ which comprise people who earn too much to qualify for an RDP house and yet their salary is too little to qualify for bank loan.

“The key is to subsidise this income bracket of R3 501-R15 000 through the government’s Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, which helps with a contribution towards a loan deposit in order to render the monthly repayments affordable,” MEC Mamabolo said.

He further said the future of Gauteng is building high rise apartments in an attempt to densify human settlements in the face of scarce and expensive land and also because of massive urbanisation and rapid migration into the province.

The high rise buildings are already contained in the Mega Cities Strategy, which is about new post-1994 human settlements cities that are well integrated and will each yield no less than 15 000 units per mega project.

He said there was a need for government to rally and coordinate its work much better and include all relevant stakeholders including the Departments of Energy, Water and Sanitation, Transport, Health, Education, Monitoring and Evaluation, Eskom, Rand Water and municipalities.

“Our improved collective efforts will serve as a much needed catalyst in the housing sector,” MEC Mamabolo said.