Media Statement - 19 September 2013

Human Settlements Deputy Minister Ms Zou Kota-Fredericks commended the Johannesburg Metro Municipality for their efforts in reviving derelict buildings in the city center and turning them into affordable rental homes. Kota- Fredericks was speaking at the official launch of the four rental accommodation buildings in Berea, Johannesburg today.

"We need to applaud the Johannesburg Municipality for its work because it indicates that officials in this metro are serious about dealing with the problem of inadequate housing. By reviving derelict buildings, the initiative also simultaneously creates new vibrant communities that would require a lot of service from the private sector", said Kota-Fredericks.

"Initiatives like this one being spearheaded by the City of Johannesburg would help us realise the objective of building sustainable human settlements where people would enjoy life by being closer to work, have easy access to schools and health facilities as well as sporting facilities for our children" added Kota-Fredericks. The four buildings; Smitshof Extension, Taylor's Mansions, Lethabong Mansions and Ukhamba Mansions together consists of 500 units and accommodate more than 1500 low to middle-income earners.

One of the tenants at Ukhamba Mansions, Ms Kedibone Mphuti (22) who is a call center agent and a single mother expressed gratification about her new place. "This is a very beautiful place, one of the things that attracted me to come and stay here, is the cleanliness and the high security", said Mphuthi.

"Before I came here (Ukhamba), I used to take more than thirty minutes going to work and paying a lot of money but now it takes me approximately less than 15 minutes and there is also crèche in the building to take care of my one year old son", added Mphuthi.

Johannesburg Municipality through its subsidiary Johannesburg Housing Company (JHC) owns 33 buildings across the inner city of Johannesburg, providing close to 4000 social housing units which are home to about 12000 people that is families, students, young working couples, single parents and their children.

Chief Executive Officer of Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) Brian Moholo said when (JHC) was established in 1995 it did not only create a knowledge base but also kept on improving mechanisms and strategies in the rental sector. "One of the important strategies is that, they allowed tenants to input on the business models and that has worked well for the organization", added Moholo.

Enquiries: Vusi Tshose – 083 581 5265

Issued by the National Department of Human Settlements

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, September 19, 2013