Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile held a "groundbreaking and firm" meeting with Human Settlements contractors mandated by provincial government to build houses in the province.
According to department spokesperson Castro Ngobese, Maile's engagement with the contractors was necessitated by the fact that these contractors are owed monies by government, and this has a negative impact on them to meet their delivery targets.
"Maile made a firm undertaking on behalf of the provincial government for all contractors doing work with Department of Human Settlements to be paid within 15 days," Ngobese said.
"Maile also used the engagement with contractors to share some elements of the Provincial Human Settlements Plan, that will guide and inform the development of human settlements that promote social cohesion and reverse Apartheid spatial human settlements patterns we inherited in 1994."
The ANC-led provincial government has made an electoral promise to deliver 125 000 human settlements and 31 mega human settlements over the next five years, Ngobese said.
Maile urged contractors to deliver on their contractual obligations to deliver on mega human settlements projects and RDP houses for low-income earners. Maile made this call within the context that Gauteng has a housing backlog of 1m, and this imposed an "enormous burden on government to deliver on our people's expectations".
"Maile made a commitment to the contractors to deliver within a reasonable time frame to avoid delays in the delivery of houses.
In the coming weeks, Maile will do oversight site visits across the province to assess progress of Human Settlements in the province, Ngobese said.