18 August 2017

South Africa: PE Housing Programme Set to Create Jobs

Building quality houses while creating jobs must be central to the metro human settlements programme.

This was the agreement reached by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Nelson Mandela Metro Mayor Athol Trollip during a meeting held on Thursday in Port Elizabeth to fast track housing delivery.

The meeting was attended by councillors within the metro, officials from the national Department of Human Settlements and service delivery partners.

In a statement, the two principals agreed that a lot can be done to ensure that land and empty houses are not invaded.

"It is important that developers and municipalities must be responsible for their land and properties. They must be vigilant and ensure that where land or empty houses are invaded, law enforcement agencies are brought in to evict the people within the ambit of the law," said Minister Sisulu and Trollip said in a statement.

The meeting also agreed that rectification of poorly built houses must be stopped, and contractors and developers who build low quality houses must be taken to task.

"Government cannot pay contractors to build houses and also pay them to fix them. We must take contractors and developers to task, recover the money and also blacklist them," the principals said.

The meeting further emphasised that while fast tracking housing delivery, attention must also be paid to ensuring that the correct beneficiaries receive their houses, and they are educated on how to care of their properties.

"The waiting list or demand database must be updated at all times, and efforts must be made to ensure that is not open to abuse and corruption," the statement said.

Progress in Joburg and Tshwane housing challenges

Meanwhile, Minister Sisulu said she was happy with progress being made to address issues raised by Johannesburg and Tshwane communities.

Last week, the Minister met with Johannesburg and Tshwane municipalities to discuss protests in their areas and progress made in the implementation of plans to resolve housing challenges.

"We will hold izimbizo to report back and also ensure that communities are kept informed," Minister Sisulu said.

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