President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Housing Development Agency (HDA) is set to construct and additional 500 000 houses in the next five years.

Speaking at the State of the Nation Address (SONA), last week the President said that government would give effect to its commitment to build human settlements in well-located areas that bring together economic opportunities and all the services and amenities that people need.

In addition to highlighting the HDA’s commitment to build 500 000 houses in the next five years, Ramaphosa added that government had set aside an amount of R30 billion for municipalities and provinces to enable them to fulfil their respective mandates.

New financing models needed

The President however, noted that tackling the country’s backlog would require a significant investment.

“If we are to effectively address the substantial housing backlog in our country, we need to develop different models of financing for human settlements.

“It is for this reason that we are establishing a Human Settlements Development Bank that will leverage both public and private sector financing to aid in housing delivery,” Ramaphosa explained.

Empowering and integration

The president added that government would also be extending its programme to empower people to build their own homes.

“We will also be expanding the People’s Housing Programme, where households are allocated serviced stands to build their own houses, either individually or through community-led housing cooperatives,” he said.

The President also reaffirmed government’s commitment to ensuring that its infrastructure provision integrates new housing developments with economic opportunities and the construction of dams, water pipelines, schools and other amenities.