Press Release - 18 June 2015

Pursuant to your article written by Buyekezwa Makwabe, dated June 15, 2015 – under the headline “Families able to rest easy” one could not resist the temptation to pick up on few issues that may arise from the article.

Having read the caption of the article, “EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, left, has put a stop to able-bodied under 40 getting free houses but 21 year-old Yandiswe Mafu, who is blind is among people from vulnerable groups who have benefited from MEC Helen Sauls-August’s housing programme for disable and vulnerable people”. This has compelled one to emphasise on three very important facts about the contents of the article.

The caption of the article seems to suggest that there may be contrasting school of thoughts between the MEC and the Minister in delivering houses to the indigent people, which is not the case. By implication – contrasting the articulation of the policy by the Minister against the delivery of houses by the MEC to the people with disability is unfortunate and regrettable.

Secondly, the Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements – Helen Sauls-Agust is implementing Government policy by delivering houses to vulnerable groups. Our strategic focus as a sector as adopted in the meeting of the Minister and MECs (MINMEC) of Human Settlements is crystal clear on who should receive fully subsidised houses from the government.

That is vulnerable groups such as the elderly, people with disabilities and child-headed households, among others. Through this progressive focus, the Government seeks to give hope to the people, and also to indicate that it’s foundation to do so is not in any way inconsistent with the solid housing policies of the country.

Lastly, Minister Sisulu has made it clear in various platforms that her department, will do whatever it takes to fast-rack the delivery of houses for all the qualifying people of the South Africa. Equally so, the Minister has re-iterated the fact that her department will not be apologetic for prioritising the elderly, people with disabilities and child-headed households in the provision of housing.

There are many other options available in the government’s housing programme for other groups such as young people. These include subsidised rental, site and services, Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, among others.

The caption in your otherwise good story is mischievous to say the least and a little reading of government’s policy would not have led to such pronouncements by the newspaper.

Spokesperson for the Department of Human Settlements

Xolani Xundu


Press Release Date: 
Thursday, June 18, 2015