Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela: Basic services for all Western Cape informal settlements by 2014
25 Jul 2011
In my role as the Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, which I have been in for 26 months, I am in a position to clearly see the status of human settlements in the Western Cape, and I am very concerned at the living conditions of many of the people in our province.
In order to make the biggest impact in the lives of the most number of people, and act on the department's mandate to ensure the accelerated delivery of housing opportunities, I have committed to making sure that there are no more informal settlements without basic services in the Western Cape by the end of 2014.
The reality of the government housing programme is that many people have to wait for many years for houses. The key question I ask myself is to what extent the decisions I make in my leadership of the Department of Human Settlements improves the quality of life for our people.
If we continue with our current approach of building top structures, it will take 28 years to clear the current housing backlog of around 500 000 people, and that's not including the in-migration to the province, which keeps increasing the demand.
Presently, hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for housing in terrible conditions, without access to the basic services of clean water, sanitation and refuse removal. I cannot allow our current approach of measuring our success by the number of houses we build to continue, while people are waiting in such difficult conditions. This is why I am shifting the department's focus to first make sure that the basic services are provided, so at least people can live in dignity and health while they wait.
The Human Settlements approach will include the following components. First, we will focus on spending more of our budget on providing serviced sites, so people can wait for their houses with the basic services of water and sanitation. Second, we will continue building houses for the poorest of the poor.
Third, we will change our beneficiary selection policy to make sure that the people most in need get houses, so we don't have situations where 20 year olds get houses while those who are aged or disabled are waiting.
Fourth, we will look for solutions to service the affordable housing market, where those people earning between R3 500 and R12 000 do not qualify for a government subsidy, yet do also not qualify for a house loan from the banks. These people, such as nurses, teachers and policemen, also need to be able to own houses, yet currently it's very difficult for them to do this.
I am very excited about the way going forward. For too long too little has been done for too many, and it's time to change this. We need to make sure the lives of the people are impacted, and this must go beyond more promises. There must be action and there must be results, measurable in quality of life of all people of the Western Cape.
Tel: 021 483 6622
Cell: 072 465 5177
Source: Western Cape Provincial Government
Issued by: Western Cape Human Settlements
25 Jul 2011
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