South African Government Promises To Improve Housing

Pretoria - Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and MECs from each of the provinces have renewed their commitment to provide sustainable human settlements for South Africa's impoverished.

Sexwale and his MECs signed delivery agreements based on government's 12 priority outcomes, which were approved by Cabinet earlier this year. Outcome 8 puts emphasis on improving the quality of household life and creating sustainable human settlements.

"These agreements are a contract amongst us to demonstrate that we are together in our pursuit of providing our people with proper settlements. We are in a team If I fall, I fall with them, if I rise, I rise with them as well," Sexwale said, at the signing ceremony in Polokwane, on Friday.

He added that signing the agreements ensured that the department's leaders would be accountable to the nation. "We are all accountable to our people and the government, we cannot fail, we should not fail."

The minister acknowledged that it was unlikely that the Millennium Development Goal would be achieved by the intended dates, but added that government was committed to its cause and would work on closing the gap.

The MDGs are eight goals, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV and AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. They include the goal of improving the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

Meanwhile, Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale has called for a central blacklisting database of contractors defrauding government. These contractors were, in effect, denying South Africans housing opportunities, he added.

"There should be a central blacklisting of those who defraud the system. They deny our people fruits of democracy and quality service," Mathale said. - BuaNews