Lindiwe Sisulu speeds up housing delivery in South Africa

Pretoria – Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has urged all levels of government and entities to move with speed to deliver houses to South Africans.

“Unless we change our attitude at all levels of government and entities, there can be no radical delivery on what we have promised,” Minister Sisulu told department officials and contractors during the annual Govan Mbeki Awards held in Cape Town, on Thursday evening.

“There can be no radical transformation of the economy as it affects the ordinary person. A house is not only a right to dignity, it is an essential asset for the poorest of us to have a foothold in the economy. The asset value of a house can take the poorest of us out of destitution,” Minister Sisulu said.

The Minister announced that next month the department will be hosting a Developers Conference, where they will hear from them what impedes delivery and what challenges are experienced from the administration at all three government spheres.

“We will explain our plans in detail, especially around the catalytic projects. These 77 catalytic projects will be rolled out as of the end of September 2015 and the contracts that will be signed with the contractors will have very specific timeframes attached to them. They will be penalised for every day they go over the deadline,” the Minister said.

She further emphasised that during the conference, the department will need an undertaking from contractors that they will stick to the timeframes agreed upon in their contracts and that they will provide quality work.

The department has established a war room, which amongst other things, will track every human settlements project across the country.

“Technology makes it possible for us to track progress without leaving our offices. The Heads of Department will be accountable, not only to their respective MECs, but also to all MECs as a collective. The MECs, Deputy Minister and myself will work as a collective, because it is only when we work as a collective that we will achieve our goals.

“We will ensure that where provinces or metros are unable to use all the resources allocated to them, these resources will be shifted to provinces and metros that can use it. We will not allow any rollovers or any under spending,” the Minister said with authority.

The Govan Mbeki Awards is an annual feature in the Human Settlements diary and is used to honour those who have performed best in the human settlements sector.

Named after the ANC stalwart, the awards also aim to promote excellence, best practices and instil a healthy competition among all Departments of Human Settlements in provinces and municipalities.

It is also a way of encouraging and thanking all the human settlements stakeholders including business and sectors who are making valuable contribution through resources to help the department realise the goal of providing decent housing, tenure of security and comfortable living to all people.