Sexwale Promises To Speed Up Housing Delivery

Johannesburg - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has acknowledged that the demand for housing in South Africa remained very high and government would need to speed up its plans to address the backlog estimated at over 2 million.

Speaking at the launch of Lufhereng Housing Project, a new housing development initiative situated in Soweto, on Tuesday, Sexwale agreed that the R18 billion set aside by National Treasury for housing will not be enough to meet the current housing challenges.

"We are now discussing in order to have the money increased because if we want to move at a speed that is needed…we will need more money," he said.

More than 12 million South Africans are in dire need of proper homes with more than 60 percent of the number living in urban areas. Sexwale said the government's new human settlements approach and the Breaking New Ground policy adopted by Cabinet will aim at lowering the backlog "at the shortest possible time".

"It is going to take us time, but we will get there, it's going to take one step at a time," he said during the launch that also coincided with a symbolic hand over of house keys to six new beneficiaries.

One of the beneficiaries was a 78-year-old grandmother of two, Rejoice Mkhize, who has been on the housing waiting list for the past 14 years.

The Lufhereng forms part of the western extension of Soweto and is said to be the largest low cost housing development to take place in the area.

The first phase of the project has delivered about 2 433 freehold stands of which 1192 have been earmarked for subsidised housing while close to 1000 units have been turned into RDP houses.

Sexwale said the project will offer families a range of options depending on income levels. These include fully subsidised 40 square metre homes, credit -linked 45 and 50 square metre units and those that will give owners an option of a bond.

Earlier, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane urged the beneficiaries of the new houses to resist the temptation of selling their properties through profit-making schemes.

"You must remember that there are thousands of others out there who are not as lucky as you, so if you don't want the house just give it back to us, please don't sell it because you say it's yours, government has given it to you," she said. - BuaNews