HUMAN Settlements Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo visited construction sites in Havana today marking her third day of an official visit to Cuba.

The Minister was accompanied by South Africa’s Ambassador to Cuba Ms Shope-Linney during a tour to the Housing Construction Programme in the Capital 100 Units in Ciudad Libertdad. The Minister informed the local leadership in Havana that one of the biggest challenges South Africa had to contend with was the building of decent houses for mine workers.

“These are workers separated from their families for long periods as a result of the migrant labour system. Building viable human settlements for mine workers is one of our priorities,” she said.
The Minister was encouraged by what she observed during the site visits finding women and youth taking their right full place in the construction industry.

The lessons drawn from Cuban citizens mobilizing communities to roll their sleeves and build their own houses must be emulated and implemented in South Africa as part the redesigned People‘s Houses Process.
The delegation proceeded to visit the Centre for Development and Consulting in Management and Business which is part of the Cuban Ministry for Construction. At the centre, the Minister was taken through an illuminating exhibition of the General Directorate of Housing and its function.

“Our shameful apartheid past has denied many young people the opportunity to study engineering, architecture and many other critical courses that the Cuban initiatives empowers its youth with for social advancement and individual growth,” said Minister Mfeketo.

“This is a challenge which our Government is determined to address through our collaboration with the Government of Cubans,” she added.
The Minister had a two hour bilateral meeting with the Minister of Construction in Cuba Rene Messa Villafafa. The discussions focused around the strengthening of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries and ensuring that all parties adhere to the implementation plan of the agreement.

Monitoring and evaluation will become one of the areas that will receive specialized attention as both governments are committed to derive mutual benefit from the collaboration. South Africa and Cuba will jointly explore the prospects of a sustainable and viable skill transfer and exchange programmes.

The meeting of the two Ministers also resolved to find creative and innovate ways of dealing with language barriers in the interest of all participants and Technical Co-ordinators.
Minister Mfeketo is accompanied by a delegation of officials from the Department of Human Settlements.
Minister Mfeketo said her visit to Cuba is aimed at acquiring first-hand knowledge on how governments could give citizens the skills that are required to build their own houses.


Please contact Xolani Xundu for more information on 083 788 5747

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Press Release Date: 
Thursday, November 22, 2018