SA Government on track to provide 1.5m houses

Cape Town – Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says government aims to make available 1.5 million housing opportunities during the current term of office.

The Minister said this when she tabled the department’s Budget Vote Speech in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“We have committed that we will, between now and 2019, deliver 1.5 million housing opportunities. We remain committed to changing the apartheid spatial planning and developing new cities like Cosmo City where our people stay close to economic opportunities and social amenities,” she said.

The Minister’s announcement comes after the department announced in Cosmo City two weeks ago that the department had delivered 4.3 million houses and subsidies since 1994, which benefitted more than 20 million South Africans.

These consist of 2.8 million completed houses, 986 000 serviced sites, and 121 000 social housing units. It also includes more than 360 000 households, who took the opportunity to acquire ownership of their previously state owned rental properties; 69 000 upgraded community rental units and 6 000 finance-linked subsidies.

Government is estimated to have spent over R500 billion on top structures, bulk services, social and economic amenities to achieve this.

“We can confirm today that after a number of years of decline in our delivery of serviced stands and housing units, for the financial year 2015/2016 we have turned the tide. Our partnership with developers, banks and communities are beginning to bear fruit and we have constructed 153 000 serviced houses, a new record after years of delivery challenges.

“We will progressively formalise informal settlements by providing basic services to restore dignity to our people,” Minister Sisulu said.

A total of 143 756 households in informal settlements were given access to water and sanitation since the inception of the Medium Term Strategic Framework on 1 April 2014 up to 31 December 2015.

“Nationally, the percentage of households living in formal dwellings increased from 76% to 80% between 2002 and 2014. The rate of provisioning of state-subsided dwellings surpassed the provisioning of formal dwellings in the private sector between 2009 and 2014, and the percentage of beneficiaries of state subsidised housing increased from 5.6% in 2002 to 13.6% in 2014. Informal dwellings in settlements and backyards have decreased from 17% in 2002 to 11% in 2014,” she said.