South Africa: Human Settlements Gears Up for Sector's Economic Recovery

15 February 2021

The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation has finalised plans for the revitalisation of the construction and built environment industries, which experienced a slump as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The sector has been heavily impacted and we now have to roll up our sleeves and revive the sector by implementing our infrastructure projects. We also need to make sure that we work smarter with all the limitations the pandemic has imposed on us," Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in a statement on Sunday.

She said the department has received final business plans from all provinces and these have been studied and carefully considered by all Heads of Department and MECs.

"This aim is to ensure that they meet the pressing need of not only boosting the sector economically, but also providing the much-needed jobs, particularly for young South Africans," Sisulu said.

The Minister highlighted that the importance of reviving the economy and ending poverty are some of the mandates given by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address in 2020 and 2021.

Among its key priorities, the department aims to build more social housing projects that will ensure the revitalisation of the country's metros as well as delivering on the Informal Settlements Upgrade Programme. This means the provision of all basic services to informal settlements.

"Many people are without basic services such as water and sanitation. The UISP Programme (Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme) will provide formality in these settlements and may also result in in-situ provision of housing," the Minister said.

She added that the department will over the next few weeks engage with various private sector industries including banking, construction and developers, among others.

"The aim is to involve them in working with the provinces and municipalities in delivering on government's business plans for human settlements," Sisulu said.

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