Human Settlements Minister has commended the role of the social housing sector in stimulating the economy to produce much-needed jobs, especially for designated groups.

Speaking at the official launch of the Maitlands Mews Social Housing Project in Cape Town on Thursday, Minister Kubayi said this was in line with the Government’s mandate to respond to the housing needs in the country, while addressing the apartheid spatial planning.

As part of the Human Settlements Budget Vote programme, Minister Kubayi, Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete and the MINMEC members, handed over the Maitland Mews Social Housing Project to elated beneficiaries. The project will provide 204 rental opportunities, with an average monthly rental of between R722 and R6 475 and monthly household incomes ranging from R1 850 to R22 000. This is one of many social housing developments that the government plans to launch this year.

“In our efforts to deal with the apartheid spatial development, Maitland Mews Social Housing Project located in central Cape Town on Voortrekker Road, was built in a well-located land which enables easy access to key transportation routes, essential services and places the residents in close proximity to the workplace. Beneficiaries of such projects staying closer to their work allows them to spend less on transport fees,” said Minister Kubayi, adding that this further lessens the burden of the high cost of living for many people.

“We are pleased that the Maitland Mews Social Housing has pushed the boundaries, as it does not only provide shelter but goes further and incorporates modern technologies such as fibre internet readiness and solar panels to power geysers, which eases the burden on beneficiaries on electricity costs,” added the Minister. The City’s imposition of discounts on rates is a critical and necessary tool, to relieve pressure for tenant, amidst rising cost of living and for the viability of projects for developers, as it decreases the probability of rent boycott. This can be a lesson for other municipalities as we strive to find viable models for the sustainability of social housing projects.

Following the launch, the Minister and Deputy Minister held a meeting with MEC’s from various provinces (MINMEC) and received various progress reports on grants performance for the period which ended on 30 April 2023, and considered the overall performance of the sector. The discussions delved deeper into the non-financial performance of both provinces and metropolitan municipalities and a very worrying picture emerged as delivery on most measures, is on a downward trend. Given the deteriorating performance of Metros, amidst the increasing problems of human settlements across the country, it was agreed that an urgent intervention on both planning and implementation of projects was necessary.

Accordingly, a decision was taken that the Department of Human Settlements will deploy a technical team to assess all the Metros in terms project planning, project implementation, procurement, project management and contract management. Upon the completion of this assessment, a meeting will be convened with provinces and Metros that will identify proactive tools that will be deployed in poor performing Metros, so that they meet their targets.

Lack of technical capacity to implement human settlements project remains the chief barrier to awarding developer status to some municipalities. MINMEC discussed the current developer status accreditation framework, and it was agreed that there was a need, together with SALGA, to review that framework to make it more clearer and objective. Provinces with outstanding Implementation Protocols must conclude them in the next three months.

Great concern was raised about the devastating effect on young black entrepreneurs, as a result of non-payment of contractors who have met project deliverables. Provinces and municipalities were strongly advised to strictly adhere to government policy prescript of 30-day payment for all contractors without prejudice. This also requires provinces to not only spend money on what it is allocated for but to also pay service providers within 30 days, which necessitates added measures for continuous reporting on progress and implementing consequence management against officials who fail to do their work.

MINMEC undertook to urgently find solutions to address the housing needs of Military Veterans especially those from non-statutory formations, collaborating with other sister departments, including the Department of Military Veterans. The human settlements cluster, together with the Department of Military Veterans, represented by Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla, reiterated the commitment to provide housing for Military Veterans and improving on the quality and pace of delivery.

For Media Enquiries, contact Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota, Spokesperson to Minister Kubayi on 0647548426 / or Nozipho Zulu: Head of Communications on 078457 9376.

Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements
Govan Mbeki House
240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001

Press Release Date: 
Friday, May 12, 2023