DIY homes through housing vouchers

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria- The Eastern Cape housing department has introduced a new rural housing voucher system which will enable beneficiaries to claim housing subsidies to acquire building materials which they will use to build their own homes.

MEC for Human Settlements, Nombulelo Mabandla, said the voucher system is aimed at speeding up housing delivery in poor rural communities. The voucher programme will be piloted at the Umzimvubu and Intsika Yethu municipalities in April.

Human Settlements spokesperson, Lwandile Sicwetsha, said the department will revive the People's Housing Process (PHP) aimed at up-scaling rural housing development in the province with the implementation of 29 approved projects at a value of R696 million upon completion.

"The department is also planning to deliver 2114 units in both OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo district municipalities with a budget totaling R117 million this financial year.

This is part of the department's rural development plan to create integrated human settlements for poor people living in deep rural areas in the province," he said.

The department hopes to build 22 000 units in the 2010/2011 financial years, a move which will see 88 000 destitute people with roofs over their heads. - BuaNews

Hold elected officials accountable- Baloyi

Pretoria - Public Service and Administration Minister, Richard Baloyi, has called for an increase in community participation in local development.

"This forum provides a mechanism for accountability, providing members of the community a platform to hold public servants and elected officials to their word. Our communities are the owners of power, political power and it is within this power that we need to provide feedback on the work done by our government," Baloyi told the Aganang community in Limpopo on Monday.

He said government's priorities still remained as extending service delivery and infrastructure to the poor; the stimulation of social and economic development of the community and the eradication of gender discrimination among other things.

Baloyi gave the community an opportunity to engage him as well as members of the provincial legislature on issues of development in the area. The visit was part of government's participatory democracy programme.

Elias Nong, a member of the provincial legislature, said it was only through partnerships that increased service delivery and local development could be realised. - BuaNews