Provincial departments commit to remove bottlenecks in housing delivery

Human Settlements provincial departments have committed to remove bottlenecks that may result in project delays and blocked projects in housing delivery.

The provincial departments made the commitment during a meeting between Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi and Members of the Executive Council (MINMEC) of Human Settlements, Members of the Mayoral Councils (MMCs) of Human Settlements and Executive Mayors held at Bojanala Platinum District, North West, on Friday.

The meeting heard that from a target of 300 000, the sector is at 69.5% delivery, with 208 358 fully subsidised houses on the ground.

Kubayi said this is no mean feat in the face of budget cuts the department has faced.

She said about 172 066 serviced sites have been delivered from a projected number of 190 437.

“First home finance has surpassed the 20 000 units mark, as targeted in 2019. To date, there are 22 035 units that have been delivered. The current delivery is against the budget cuts the Department of Human Settlements has faced over the years.

“We are making inroads in ensuring that we bring more people into the housing market and thereby assisting the so-called ‘missing middle’ with home ownership,” Kubayi said.

The MINMEC received a report on the current fiscal environment and reflected on the response by the human settlements sector.

While the sector understands and supports the efforts by the Finance Minister to stabilise the fiscus, MINMEC emphasised the need to find a balance between service delivery priorities and fiscal consolidation.

It was noted that the sector has so far had a mixed bag of performance during the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2019 – 2024 period.

However, for the current financial year, concerns were raised about provincial spending, and provinces were urged to deliver in accordance with their business plans or face redirection of funds to performing provinces.

The sector is currently at 32% spending, with eight months left in the financial year.

The meeting also noted major improvements made by the human settlements sector in ensuring that all claims are paid within 30 days.

With the mandatory allocation of 40% set aside for first quarter performance, the provincial departments were acknowledged for making improvements in ensuring the budgets and contracts are set aside for businesses and companies owned by women, youth and people with disabilities.

Over 100 houses handed over to beneficiaries

Meanwhile, ahead of the meeting, the department handed over house keys to beneficiaries of Moses Kotane Community Residential Units (CRU) – one of the affordable rental housing projects in the North West.

The CRUs include 110 units with bachelor and two-bedroom rental accommodations. It supports the upgrading of government-owned communal rental accommodation.

As one of the departmental housing programmes, the CRUs are aimed at facilitating the provision of secure and stable rental tenure for lower income earners.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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