Media Statement - 26 September 2011

Cape Town 26/09/2011- Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has called on delegates attending the 12th International Housing and Home Warranty (IHHW) Conference to ensure that quality standards are not only upheld in big construction projects but also in projects that seeks to provide decent shelter for the poor.

In a keynote address at the conference Sexwale said it was the responsibility of the IHHW to ensure that when building for the poor standards are maintained.

“When building for the poor the quality becomes poor as well. We need to change this and ensure that the quality of the houses being built in townships and rural areas is the same as the quality of those houses built in affluent suburbs,” said Sexwale.

He added that a quality built house will not only give its recipient dignity but will enable poor people to participate in the main stream economy.

“A house built properly is an investment that enables people to participate in the economy as banks will not finance a house that does not meet quality standards. We provide houses, we regulate the richest but we also have the gap market and we need to protect it.

“Without warranties we are doing nothing, we need to protect the products we offer our people,” he said.

It was important, said Sexwale that the conference came with a common purpose and advance the built environment to be what is required in the global economy.

The Conference, the first to be held in the African continent will look at issues ranging from international housing policies, managing risk and protecting consumers, warranty provision and enforcement, technical innovation and will also feed into the climate change conference to be held later this year.

Sexwale also handed over eight houses built as part of the innovative housing project aimed at showcasing usage of alternative technology in building homes for the subsidy sector.

‘We have always called for high rise and innovation. We have always encouraged alternative technology to help us fast-track delivery of homes to South Africans. This is a great example of where we want to go,’ said Sexwale.

The project is a model of a high-density housing solution using eco-friendly technologies and aims to make a meaningful change in the lives of those less fortunate through the provision of a home. This project is a legacy aimed to mark the inaugural hosting of the International Housing and Home Warranty Conference on the African soil.

Issued by the Department of Human Settlements
Date: 27 September 2011
Enquiries: Xolani Xundu 082 775 5744

Press Release Date: 
Monday, September 26, 2011