13 February 2013

South Africa: Excerpts From Western Cape MEC of Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela's Keynote Address At Eloxolweni Housing Project, Pearly Beach, Western Cape

press release

The Western Cape MEC of Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, today gave a keynote address in a sod turning ceremony at the new Eluxolweni Housing Project in Pearly Beach, Overstrand, Western Cape.

"It's always important sketch the housing picture. More than 2.3 million households are waiting for houses in South Africa, and in the Western Cape it's over 500 000. This puts a lot of pressure on the province to build houses, and along with in migration, the need keeps increasing. We only have a budget to build around 15 000 houses a year. The resources we have as a government is far less than the demand, and so we do the best we can to improve the living conditions of our people.

This is why we are taking a multi-pronged approach to housing, and we r focusing on making sure everyone has access to basic services while they wait for houses. Building a house is not always the best approach. We also need to ensure that there is enough bulk of infrastructure to enable the provision of basic services, like water and sanitation. In the Western Cape, the bulk infrastructure backlog is around R20 billion.

We must service the areas where people lie, so that there living conditions are improved while they wait for housing. We must also be creative how we use our limited budgets, to make sure we make the best impact in people's lives we can.

In Eluxolweni, we have managed to address the infrastructure problem to make sure the 250 unit Eluxolweni Housing Project can go ahead. We are also making sure that the wrongs of the 1913 Bantu Land act are addressed. We have to make sure that everyone who gets a house or service site also gets a title deed, so that they have legal ownership and control of their property.

Finally, we must also ensure that development is non-political. Too many developments are blocked or never get off the ground because of in-fighting among different political groups. People must put their political differences aside and unite behind development that benefits everyone."

The R24.5 million project is located along the southern coast of the Western Cape Province, within the jurisdiction of the Overstrand Municipal area, approximately 30 kilometers east of Gansbaai. The 211 informal residential housing units will be built in and around the existing Eluxolweni residential area. Part of the site is occupied by an existing informal settlement which will be upgraded in-situ. Construction is already underway.

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