South African Government Sets Housing Targets

Pretoria - Government plans to build 220 000 housing units for each financial year between now and 2014.

Speaking during a cluster media briefing in Parliament on Friday, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini outlined the targets government had set for itself.

She said by the start the current financial year, more than 8 000 human settlements projects were already underway across the country.

Preliminary figures indicate that these projects will result in the construction of 219 000 housing units.

"The Housing Development Agency is now fully operational, with the sole mandate to acquire land on behalf of government for human settlement. [The] target is to acquire 6 025 hectares of land by 2014. This will provide for 500 000 housing units," she added.

The National Upgrading Support Programme has also been established and is expected to help municipalities with upgrading projects.

In addition, the Department of Human Settlements has reached an agreement with the country's major banks to form a joint working team to explore aspects of housing finance, Dlamini said.