The Minister of Human Settlements, Mmamoloko Kubayi, has announced that the Presidential Operation Vulindlela will now be working closely with the Department of Human Settlements to accelerate the roll-out of the Title Deeds Programme. This intervention, as part of reforms by government to significantly unlock economic benefits, was announced at the monthly meeting of the Minister and Human Settlements Provincial MECs (MinMec) on Friday.

“Human Settlements will form a part of the government-wide approach of Operation Vulindlela on title deeds, in partnership and collaboration with Provinces and Municipalities. This is to assist the Sector as a whole in all three spheres, to ensure that South Africans become the rightful owners of their own homes”, said Minister Kubayi.

Operation Vulindlela is a joint initiative of the Presidency and National Treasury to accelerate the implementation of structural reforms and support economic recovery. The Vulindlela operation unit is designed to address obstacles or delays to ensure execution on policy commitments. It is overseen by Deputy Minister David Masondo, and reports directly to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Department is working towards incorporating the issuing of title deeds with housing handovers in order to avoid further backlogs.

Prioritization of the elderly

The MinMec also resolved to prioritise the elderly in the allocation of houses. This comes after numerous reports of elderly people waiting for their homes for years, some dying without benefiting from government programmes

“We had made this call before to prioritise the elderly, however, we need to change gears and have a dedicated data base of all the elderly people and ensure that we focus on them in the next 12 months. This is urgent and all MECs are on board”, Minister Kubayi said.

In its deliver of integrated and sustainable human settlements to the elderly, the Sector will align itself with the commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons of 1 October whose 2022 theme was “the resilience and contributions of older women in successfully navigating today's myriad of global challenges.”

Relocation of flood victims

The meeting received reports from KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Eastern Cape and Free State Human Settlements on progress of re-locating people after flood disasters that hit these provinces in April and in September. Scores of people were displaced, finding temporary shelter in various community halls across these provinces. KwaZulu- Natal Human Settlements reported that thus far, 1442 Temporary Residential Units (TRUs) had been delivered; Mass Care Centres have been reduced from the original 135 to 70 with the closure of five (5) halls i.e Dassnhoek, eMasomini, Good Hope Church, Cetshwayo and La Mercy. With the KZN Human Settlements transferring R34 million to eThekwini for material supply, the Provincial Department is now confident that building of permanent structures will be accelerated. The Province expressed confidence that all displaced people will be settled by end of December 2022. So far R80 126 654,29 of the R325 Million has been spent to date.

In the Eastern Cape to date, 384 units has been completed in Alfred Nzo and 388 units has been completed in OR Tambo District. The Housing Development Agency has been appointed contractors to erect 1141 Temporary Residential Units in OR Tambo, Chris Hani, Amathole and Joe Gqabi District Municipalities.

In the Free State, the Jagersfontein Town within the Xhariep District was severely affected by the deluge of mud and water flowing from the burst mine tailings dam in September 2022. Four (4) land parcels have been identified as suitable for temporary use to accommodate 162 affected households while measures are put in place to restore damaged houses and infrastructure.

In the North West, the national department approved an amount of almost R55million to address emergency housing needs of the community of Deelpan Village. Four service providers have been appointed to start with the work of building TRUs.

Transformation of the sector

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Empowerment became an issue of discussion, with the Minister and MECs agreeing on a need to fast-track transformation of the sector to include these important population groups. Two main recommendations were adopted:

- The implementation of support with sector partners and key departments such as the National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Women Youth & Persons with Disabilities. These partnerships would include having roadshows in order to disseminate information on programmes within these government structures and Departments.

- There will be an establishment of advocacy, mentorship and incubator programmes aimed at growing youth and women- owned emerging companies in the Built Environment.

The meeting reiterated a need to a sector that is responsive and in touch with the needs of the people through better co-ordination and the creation of strategic partnerships.

“We all have the required skills and resources to turn the tide around and ensure that the human settlements sector caters for the varying needs of our people,” emphasized Minister Kubayi.

Performance Assessment and Sector Audit Outcome

The MinMec considered presentations on the quarterly and Bi-Annual reports on the various performance area flagged by the Auditor General, where targets were not achieved. The audit outcomes for 2021/2022 called for combined action on the overall performance and most concerning not meeting the target deliverable of top structures.

A streamlined process that allowed for a direct link between expenditure reported and performance achieved against set targets is of the outmost priority. With the R5.943 billion spent as at 30 September 2022, Provinces reported a combined delivery of 24 519 housing opportunities, 9 690 serviced sites and 14 829 units. A shortfall of serviced sites and units has resulted in an overall 29% delivery performance against the annual targets.

In noting the status of Provinces’ performance on the Human Settlements Grants as at 30 September 2022, which is a mid-term period of the current financial year, MinMec resolved that the performance reports needed immediate attention. Deliberations specifically focused and raised concerns on recovery plans submitted by the Provinces that had spent less than 40% as at 30 September 2022 and that bilateral meetings will be prioritised to assist poor performing Provinces. Importantly, MinMec committed to a more responsive action plan to deal with various issues to improve overall performance in the sector, particularly in relations to the audited Departmental Annual Performance Report.

MinMec resolved that combined efforts to strengthen internal controls, project planning, management and implementation - which are crucial elements to ensure that projects are completed timeously with achievable set targets and performance on the MTSF – will be expedited by Technical MinMec.

“The first part of correction for team human settlements is to be able to identify where the problem, but in particular what interventions are required to strengthen coordination and planning. For example, if we were planning better we wouldn’t have challenges in project management and would not need to review business plans. Without fail, all business plans must have a procurement plan,” emphasised Minister Kubayi.

The meeting also noted certain instances in which factors outside of government control hamper timeous delivery of quality homes to qualifying beneficiaries. The Technical MinMec is expected to look at a sector report and intervention mechanism to deal unresolved challenges in a quest for better audit outcomes.

For Media Enquiries, contact: Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota, Spokesperson: Ministry of Human Settlements on +27647548426 or email hlengiwe.nhlabathi@dhs.gov.za


Press Release Date: 
Sunday, October 30, 2022