Minister Sisulu implores Provinces to accelerate housing delivery
Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu has challenged provinces to increase their pace in providing houses for the indigent and encouraged citizens to use water efficiently as dam levels in some parts of the country continue to drop.
The Minister issued this directive at a regular meeting with Provincial MECs for Human Settlements (MINMEC) that was also attended by CEOs of all water and human settlements entities.
The meeting, which sits quarterly to review service delivery, also took a decision to reallocate funding from underperforming provinces and metropolitan municipalities to those who are performing.
The Provinces to benefit from this include Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape. Details on how the funds will be reallocated are still to be worked out.
“This is done to make sure that the sector performs, and most importantly we do not return money to National Treasury whilst we have such a backlog in the country when it comes to matters of human settlements, water and sanitation,” said Minister Sisulu.
The Minister reiterated that those provinces negatively affected by the reallocation would have to improve their performance over the next few months. However, there were strict conditions for the receiving provinces.
These include that the funds allocated to the Western Cape should solely benefit the poorest of the poor, whilst in the Eastern Cape this should be channeled to the Duncan Village Priority Development Project.
Other issues on the agenda included the Alexandra Redevelopment Plan, response to current water challenges, update on the provision of basic services and related infrastructure through Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG).
The meeting also noted that Cabinet has approved the release of 14 000 hectares of land for human settlements development. In an effort to ensure that these land parcels contribute towards restoring dignity of ordinary citizens, provinces have been mandated to urgently compile development plans.
On the issue of not paying for services, MINMEC directed representatives of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) who were present at the meeting to ensure that water boards are paid on time and that consumers must pay for services rendered.
The MINMEC meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Pam Tshwete, Provincial MECs of Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and MMCs of Human Settlements from various Metros.
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Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
Govan Mbeki House
240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria