South Africa's housing delivery target still on track

Johannesburg – Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has urged contractors and developers to rally behind the department to ensure that it can deliver its target of 1.5 million houses in the current five year period.

The Minister said they were well aware that without contractors’ strategic partnership there is no way that they can meet people’s vital expectations.

“We rely on your collaboration, co-operation and commitment to fulfil our mandate. We hold in high regard the role that you provide on a constant basis,” she said.

The Minister was speaking during the national contractors and developers workshop held in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The workshop was a follow-up engagement with developers and contractors after a 2014 Human Settlements Indaba which culminated into a Social Contract for the Sustainable Human Settlements.

The vent also aimed to build partnerships with the private sector to deliver human settlements faster.

Catalytic Projects

Minister Sisulu announced that the Mega Project, now known as Catalytic Projects, are in the process of adjudication and the date of the finalisation is yet to be announced.

She assured the contractors that the process will be scrupulously clean and urged those contractors who are unhappy about the process not to hesitate to inform the department.

The projects, which were chosen from the 160 submitted projects, are expected to create two million job opportunities during the 5-15 year life of the programme.

Minister Sisulu explained that the projects will be a mix of different integrated settlements and the Master Spatial Plan, developed by the Housing Development Agency, will be used to direct the various other departments whose interventions are necessary for the creation of the most basic human settlements.

The departments include, amongst others, Health, Educations, SAPS and Social Development, who run the early development centres.

“Our experience has shown that when and where all these are in place, economic activity follows very quickly, opening up new opportunities for new jobs.

“Through these projects we pledge our land, our funding and our subsidies. For each of these projects we will require that we enter into a Memorandum of Understanding that has very strict adherence principles, time frames, work ethics and the necessary penalty clauses,” Minister Sisulu said.

She added that the department had worked out what is giving and what is expected to receive from developers and contractors.

“We have worked out the amount of public land that we will put at the disposal of developers and we have worked out how much private land is needed for the projects. We have worked out how much money we will be putting aside from the Human Settlement Development Gran and the Urban Settlements Development Grant.

“These amounts will be ring-fenced and channelled through the Housing Development Agency – our in-house developer of choice, to manage the 77 catalytic projects countrywide,” the Minister explained.

She also assured that R90 billion has been set aside for women contractors.

Contractors and developers welcomed the projects, saying they have been waiting for this for a long time.

“This is great news for developers, it’s what we need and we are looking forward to the catalytic projects,” said Banking Association South Africa.

– SAnews.gov.za