South Africa : Gauteng housing provides 63 484 homes since last year

Gauteng housing provides 63 484 homes since last year

By Luyanda Makapela

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Housing has in the last five years made great strides in providing the province with homes and restoring dignity to those living in poor communities.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg on Tuesday, MEC for Housing Nomvula Mokonyane said in the current financial year alone, her department has delivered 63 484 houses. This far exceeded their target of 58 552 houses by the end of March 2008.

"This has resulted in 317 435 people having proper shelter and enjoying security of tenure for the first time in their lives."

Between June 2004 and October 2006, over 160 000 new housing opportunities were created by the department while providing 100 000 serviced stands with running water and electricity.

In 2006, the department replaced more than 12 000 bucket system toilets and an additional 13 588 were identified and eradicated by June 2007.

"In line with our indigent policy, 96 percent households are receiving free basic water and 78 percent receive free electricity. This is a clear sign that we are bringing our services closer to the hearts of the poor," said Ms Mokonyane.

In 2004, the department embarked on a process to register informal settlements and a total of 405 settlements were captured. To date, 68 of them have been formalised, resulting in 325 000 people receiving access to water and sanitation.

"We are currently putting services for 56 settlements which will benefit a total of 380 000 people. It is our goal to provide necessary services and residence to about 710 000 people by 2009," said MEC Mokonyane.

Other housing projects currently underway include the 2 800 housing units being built in Pennyville, 5 389 being built in Chief Albert Luthuli Ext 6 and a total of 4 452 homes are being completed at Olievenhoutbosch.

By 2014, Ms Mokonyane said her department would have implemented 14 projects across the province which will result in 150 000 different housing units delivered over a five year period. - BuaNews