18 May 2017

South Africa: Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks - Human Settlements Dept Budget Vote 2017/18

press release

Budget Vote spech-Deputy Minister Kota Fredericks

Chairperson

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Hon. Nocawe Mafu

MECs

Honorable Members of Parliament

Director-General, Mbulelo Tshangana

Chairs and CEOs of human settlements institutions

All honoured guests

I feel very honoured in getting this opportunity of addressing this august house this afternoon.

Allow me Chairperson to start by saying as a mother and a woman, I strongly condemn the kidnappings, rape and murders of children and young women in our country. My condolences to the families of 3 years old Courtney Pieters, Karabo Mokoena and many others who bear the brunt of this scourge. Violence against women and children must stop.

This day the 18th of May marks the birthday of our stalwart and isithalandwe utata uWalter Sisulu, may his soul rest in peace. Cde Sisulu was the first black real estate agent in South Africa. Hence we are proud of our programme of "one learner one estate agent" in order to emulate his example.

In memory of this gallant fighter we commit to double our efforts in delivering not only houses but quality homes to all deserving citizens.

In doing so we will be demonstrating that their struggles were not in vain.

We are gathered here today as the country commemorates the centenary celebrations of the life and time of the longest serving President of the ANC, comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo. We remember this struggle icon and giant by committing ourselves to unity and radical economic transformation in our life time. This approach requires transforming all sectors of our society politically, socially and economically.

This is because we remain committed to our transformation goal of non-racial, non-sexist democratic and prosperous South Africa.

In line with this ethos of transformation, this year during the International Women's day on the 8th March which was held under the theme "Be bold for change". We launched the NHBRC Transformation Charter. We applaud NHBRC for talking a bold step.

We urge all our housing institutions to emulate the good example of NHBRC.

Chairperson, we remain resolute on the issue of economic empowerment of women in the entire value chain of Human Settlements. As directed by the Minister of Human Settlements Hon, Lindiwe Sisulu during her budget vote in 2014.

The department of human settlements has developed a framework to support women.

In line with the implementation of 30% quota, provinces were also to set aside 1956 units to be built every year during the women's month. Our observation has been that provinces are aware of this policy framework although the implementation has been uneven. We are told that there has been allocation of projects to women contractors in the following provinces.

Gauteng - Sokhulumi village in particular and other areas, North West, Eastern Cape, KZN, Western Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Free State.

Although these are positive developments in terms of economic empowerment of women, this process need close monitoring by women themselves. South African Women in Construction (SAWIC) and many other women formations need to do more advocacy work in this regard. Reports from province need thorough scrutiny.

Let me congratulate the new President of SAWIC, Ms. Kile Kwinana. We will continue working together with you.

Youth

Chairperson, job creation remains a critical focus area for the department. We are proud of the Youth Brigade that has provided voluntary community services in the construction of (100) units in Chetty in Port Elizabeth.

It also took part in the reconstruction of 6 burnt houses in Langa, Cape Town. I further applaud Ubizo Tours, a youth owned Tourism Company for mobilising tourists to provide support in the rebuilding of those houses.

We are going to work closer with the Department of Tourism to further explore this opportunity.

This year during the Mandela Month, we aim to bring youth from Qunu to Robben Island and together with the Youth Brigade conduct a Youth Career Expo aimed at exposing them to the various opportunities that the human settlements sector in particular and government sector in general have to offer. This will also be conducted in partnership with some private sector companies such as "Yabasha Energy Solutions" and its Parent Company Tasol Solar led by its CEO Mr. David Qata. The other company is Hydraform Technology, a leading alternative building technology company specialising in brick manufacturing machinery.

In 2017, we will be rolling out the Youth Brigade programme in all provinces through the NARYSEC Programme. In demonstrating their resilience, these young people did not ask what South Africa can do for them but what they can do for South Africa. In Mahatma Ghandi's words "they became the change that they wanted to see in their own communities".

Both women and youth are looking forward to set aside for women and youth contractors in the catalytic projects.

I must add that houses built by women are of good quality. I have also noticed that youth is also giving us value for mone, e.g. in North West.

It is critical that women and youth contractors in the built environment must be prepared to diversify. They cannot just be contractors who build houses; they must also look at material supply.

Let me also thank Vodacom for the computers they have donated to a school in my constituency, Dunoon. As well as the Department of Basic Education for Deputy Minister Enver Surty handing over a state of the art school worth R80 million.

National Upgrading Support Programme

Chairperson, the upgrading of informal settlements remains a cornerstone of our delivery programme.

Through the national upgrading support programme (NUSP) we aim amongst others to promote incremental upgrading and strengthen capacity of government and professional practitioners to implement community based upgrading.

The department has conducted a feasibility study and assessed one thousand one hundred and six (1106) informal settlements and at least eight hundred and eleven (811) plans have been completed. We are also happy that the sustainable livelihoods programme has been mainstreamed into NUSP in order to promote local economic development.

Upgrading of informal settlements in mining towns remains a critical focus of our work. The Housing Development Agency (HDA) manages NUSP in mining towns. 356 informal settlements in mining towns have been assessed. 150 upgrading and relocation plans for priority informal settlements have been completed.

People's Housing Process (PHP)

The department is still committed in implementing the People's Housing Process (PHP). This programme galvanise people's support in building their own homes. We take pride in our Enhanced People's Housing Process.

The challenge we have in this area is to resolve the issue of funding as agreed in Minmec, particularly the setting aside or ring-fencing 15% of capital budget for the People's Housing Process.

The good news is that we do have the guidelines now. Houses built through PHP are big, of good quality and are never sold.

At this point let me congratulate Ms Rose Molekane from Slum Dwellers International (SDI) for her appointment in Quito at Habitat III as a co-chair of the World Urban Campaign. This will help us in localising the New Urban Agenda.

Allow me to also applaud the Morningstar Development and Upliftment Initiative (MDUI), an NGO from Morningstar, Durbanville.

This NGO worked jointly with our department and the Department of Correctional Services in renovating houses built with asbestos. These houses were a health hazard. During the 6th National Imbizo week, I had the opportunity to visit and handover the 1st phase of those houses. Some are newly constructed through PHP.

On Monday the 15th May, I went to Saldanha to hand over houses build by Lafarge. The land was donated to Lafarge by Premier Fishing. We applaud both Lafarge and Premier Fishing for this sterling work. Our sense of gratitude goes to the Department of Minerals and the Saldanha Municipality for their co-operation and partnership in this work. Together we can do more

May I use this opportunity to also salute Mildred Ramakaba-Lesiea, a stalwart of the movement who had received a Honourary Doctorate Degree in Public Management awarded to her by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology earlier this year.

Conclusion

Chairperson, South Africa remains a beacon of hope and a shining example in the continent as well as in the international stage. We have adopted the New Urban Agenda in Quito during Habitat III. We were part of drafting the African Common Position which was adopted by our heads of state in Kigali in July 2016. As we speak we are on the implementing stage of the National Urban Agenda.

We salute the Ethekwini Municipality for localising the New Urban Agenda. We thank the Mayor, Zandile Gumede for her leadership on safer cities urban programme (AFUS).

On the 31st October 2017, Ethekwini will be hosting the World Cities Day followed by the 2nd AFUS from the 1st - 3rd November 2017. This will be preparation for the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur in February next year in Malaysia.

I thank you.

Issued by: Department of Human Settlements

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