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Government to build 6 million houses by 2019

Lindiwe Sisulu imageThe Department of Human Settlements will not fail on its promise to reach a target of delivering six million houses and subsidies by the end of the current government’s term of office in 2019.

That is the sentiment of Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Speaking at the 11th Annual Govan Mbeki Awards on Thursday, the minister said the department had delivered just over 4.6 million houses and subsidies as of 30 September 2017.

This leaves the department with a deficit of 1.4 million. “With the mega projects beginning to roll out, I believe it is possible that, combined with the energy of the Portfolio and Select Committees, and a little bit more hard work from the provinces and the metros, we cannot fail,” Sisulu said.

According to the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) report, housing delivery has gone up by 131% percent since 1996.

“We have built 1 029 houses per day [and] if we multiply that with an average family consisting of five people, we have provided shelter to 5 145 people per day. For every shack built since 1994, we have built 10 houses. These are facts that every South African should know,” the Minister said.

National Housing Needs Register

This year, the department established a National Housing Needs Register, a database of all those who need houses and all forms of housing assistance.

Minister Sisulu said that the department, together with municipalities, is working to ensure that they have a credible national centralised database, so they can ensure that there is credibility in the process of allocating houses.

Making room for military veterans

“The centralised database will include military veterans. We have been considering the possibility of taking over the provision of houses to military veterans from the Department of Military Veterans in total. Once negotiations are completed, our database will register all military veterans.

“We would like the Department of Military Veterans to transfer the money for the top-up to the Department of Human Settlements,” Minister Sisulu said.

In line with this, Minister Sisulu said, the Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS) will be transferred to the Department of Human Settlements so that “we are able to cater for that segment where FLISP (Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme) was not able to succeed”.

She also appealed, especially to the private sector, to strengthen partnerships with the department, so that they can help with the transformation of society.

 

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