South Africa : Gauteng to deliver 150 000 houses by 2014

By Proffesor Ndawonde

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Housing has pledged to deliver 150 000 houses over the next five years through its Mixed Housing Development Flagship Projects.

Speaking on Tuesday at a briefing following the State of the Province Address, Gauteng MEC for Housing Nomvula Mokonyane said by 2014, Gauteng would have implemented almost 14 of these projects across the province resulting in 150 000 different housing units.

She said through such projects, government has been able to ensure that people with different incomes are able to live side by side without discrimination.

"Through the implementation of the Mixed Housing Developments projects, government is now able to realise its objective of creating jobs as well as de-radicalising human settlements and create those that will accommodate all, irrespective of one's background, financial status or social standing."

Mixed Housing Developments, she said, were aimed at integrating communities in well located areas that provide economic opportunities or have greater potential for economic growth.

The MEC said since 2004, the provincial department has delivered 374 619 houses and plans to complete another 20 239 different houses by the end of government's term of office in 2009.

"In the process 59 122 residents were issued with title deeds," she said, adding that the demand for decent shelter has continued to escalate due to population growth, in-migration and declining average household size.

Regarding the formalisation and eradication of identified informal settlements, the MEC said much progress has been made since 2004.

In 2004, the department embarked on an extensive process to register all informal settlements and their inhabitants.

In this process, the MEC said, 395 informal settlements were identified for eradication by 2014.
Out of the 395 settlements identified, only 122 of the settlements were suitable for upgrade and the remaining earmarked for relocation to identified projects.

By August 2008, a total of 68 of these 122 settlements had already been formalised, with an additional 56 to be formalised by 2009.

"Once completed people residing in these areas will have access to security of tenure, have their own title deeds and, most important, provision of water and sanitation."

So far, the MEC said, 12 informal settlements have been eradicated and a further 24 were in the process of being eradicated with housing construction underway, bringing the total of eradicated informal settlements to 36 in 2009.

Meanwhile, the provincial government has also successfully eradicated all the 12 332 unhygienic and inhumane bucket toilets across the province.

Also speaking at the briefing, Gauteng Local Government MEC Qedani Mahlangu reported that these toilets were replaced with water borne system or Ventilated Pit Latrine (VIP), depending on whether the area had been proclaimed a township or not. - BuaNews