Media Statement - 08 October 2013

Human Settlements Minister Connie September marked the World Habitat Day today by helping workers construct 272 housing units at Lakehaven Social Housing project in Durban.

Meanwhile, Human Settlements Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks was at Pelican Park in Cape Town building 14 houses as part of the private sector initiative to mark this day.

The two housing projects are part of many being rolled out across the country in a bid to accelerate delivery as we approach 20 years of democracy. These will add to the millions of houses already built so far.

World Habitat Day is set aside by the United Nations (UN) to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is celebrated on the first Monday of October every year.

Under the theme, Urban Mobility, this year’s celebrations seek to highlight issues of public transport and access to goods and services that are essential in the proper functioning of cities.

Accessible cities encourage a shift towards more sustainable modes of transportation and draw more and more travellers out of cars and onto trains, buses, bike paths, and pavements.

But mobility is about more than just the mode of transport we use.

"Urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together by creating cities that focus on accessibility and optimal urban densities,” says Minister September.

This shift is clearly articulated in the Breaking New Ground Policy that emphasise issues of quality, integration and sustainability in the provision of not just houses, but human settlements.

"What this means is that as a Department must build human settlements that are closer to work opportunities so as to avoid people having to spend their hard earned salaries and wages on transport.

"That is why at Human Settlements we say: Where we live should be where we leisure, where we learn. Where we stay should be where we play, where we pray,” says Minister September.

Minister September was accompanied by KZN MEC for Human Settlements and Public Work, Ravi Pillay and EThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo.

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 8, 2013