SA's government employees get new housing allowance

Pretoria – Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday said 87 000 government employees have already enrolled and received the new housing allowance backdated to 1 July 2015.

Chairing the Governance and Administration Cluster briefing, the Minister said it is anticipated that by the end of March 2016, over 400 000 employees would have enrolled for the homeowners allowance.

Minister Gigaba said the balance of employees will have an opportunity to enrol when the Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS) website is launched during March 2016.

The GEHS commenced on 27 May 2015 following the signing of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council Resolution 7 of 2015. The GEHS agreement is aimed at increasing home ownership and asset security among public service employees.

Minister Gigaba said the implementation of the GEHS is incremental. Priorities for 2016 include:

enhancing the capacity of the GEHS Office within the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to manage and operate the scheme, while a dedicated government component is being established;
implementing the housing allowance of R1 200 and the saving facility for employees to accumulate the housing allowance towards home ownership;
starting the enrolment and profiling of employees for housing access;
implementing the housing finance service funded by the Government Employees Pension Fund and Public Investment Corporation to provide affordable housing loans and
implementing partnerships with public and private sector role players.