MINISTER KUBAYI AND MECS DELIBERATE ON A PLAN TO INTRODUCE NEW AND IMPROVED FULLY SUBSIDIZED GOVERNMENT HOUSES
Plans are underway to introduce new and improved government-subsidised homes with enhanced features including rooftop solar panels, bugler proofs for vulnerable groups, and water and sanitation systems that respond to water shortages affecting the country. There is also a discussion that the size of BNG house needs to be reviewed from 40 square meters to 45 square meters.
These were some of the key items discussed at a meeting recently convened in Durban by the Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi, together with Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete and attended by Members of the Executive Committees, Mayoral Committees and responsible for Human Settlements, as well as representatives of the South African Local Government Association, amongst others.
The revised specifications of a fully subsidized government house are aimed at improving the quality of household life, while contributing to the economy. In his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa pronounced that the government was forging ahead with the rollout of solar panels to address load shedding. It is therefore expected that the new elements such as solar panels for BNG houses will result in economic opportunities, job creation, and skills transfer - particularly, for youth, women, people with disabilities and military veterans.
Thus, MINMEC directed officials to work with all affected structures including the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), particularly on solar panels, to finalise specifications including detailed financial implications of the proposed changes. This will enable the implementation of the improved housing units as soon as possible.
MINMEC also received progress reports on grants performance for the third quarter of the current financial year and considered the overall performance of the sector, with a commitment to urgently make necessary interventions that would ensure all targets are met and on time. This included a focus on “missing middle interventions to enable affordable first-time home ownership, alongside emergency housing interventions for affected provinces namely, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Western Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo.
Prior to the MINMEC meeting Minister and MECs visited several sites that are being used to accommodate flood victims. They were informed that KwaZulu-Natal Province has assisted all 2022 flood victims through the construction of 1755 Temporary Housing Units and the implementation of the Rental Assistance Scheme and Transitional Emergency Housing. The province is also well underway to find a permanent housing solution for the affected victims. The housing project to accommodate flood victims is expected to commence in June 2023.
“Since last year, we have learned many lessons and we are seeing progress. We have accommodated affected households from dehumanizing halls to better accommodation facilities. Families now enjoy privacy. We have since started focusing on long-term interventions”, said Minister Kubayi.
Minister Kubayi emphasised the importance of all spheres of government and all affected stakeholders to continuously work as a team to accelerate the delivery of sustainable human settlements. She however raised concerns about the resources which are often diverted to provide security as opposed to building houses.
“I want to appeal to communities to understand that these projects belong to them and are meant to respond to their housing needs. Invasion of projects and stopping them does not help. This delays progress and ultimately prolongs the time of people living in temporary shelters”, said Minister Kubayi.
For Media Enquiries, contact Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota, Spokesperson to Minister Kubayi on 0647548426 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements
Govan Mbeki House
240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001