Today the Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers virtually engaged the Cederberg Municipality to provide insight into how the Provincial Department's budget of more than R 2,35 billion for the 2021/22 financial year will empower the people of this province.
During the engagement with full Council, where Minister Simmers was joined by his Department's senior executive officials, Minister Simmers highlighted the refocused areas of the Department, as well as the municipality's allocation.
In April the municipality had an allocation of R 19,5 million, but after a request by the municipality and further consultation with the Provincial Department, the budget allocation was adjusted downward. Their new allocation amounts to R 14 million. This is largely due to the number of projected units that would be delivered, exceeding the number of possible beneficiaries.
The Department's primary focus is on creating opportunities in the affordable housing market, as more than 70% of the province's citizens are employed and would in all likelihood not qualify for a free fully subsidised housing opportunity, as their household income could be between R 3 501 - R 22 000.
These affordable housing opportunities include the Non-Credit Linked, Credit Linked and Finance Linked Individual Subsidies (FLISP). It also includes the Credit Readiness Programme, which is linked to FLISP to assist those currently seeking to acquire a property but would first need to improve their impaired credit record.
Human settlements projects would continue offering Breaking New Ground (BNG/free housing units for those earning between R 0 - 3 500 per month, but the elderly, people living with certified disabilities, those 15 years and longer on the Western Cape Housing Demand Database (WCHDD) and backyard dwellers will be prioritised.
Furthermore, the new Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG), which amounts to just over R 457 million for the entire province, is a people-centred and partnership-based approach to support informal settlement residents across the Western Cape. It will ensure that more than 74 000 households in various informal settlements across the province will experience an improvement in their area.
In the Cederberg Municipality, R 1 million has been allocated for the Clanwilliam Informal Settlement.
Minister Simmers said: "I am happy that we finally engaged this municipality, albeit on a virtual platform. This meeting has been long overdue, but I'm pleased that we could provide policy clarity and explain how our new refocused areas, holds multiple benefits to them as the local authority.
It was particularly pleasing to report back to this municipality that the fund we proposed previously, and now known as the Western Cape Asset Finance Reserve for Human Settlements, is finally a reality. This reserve has been created for human settlements to augment the insufficient Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) allocations in municipalities, as well as assist municipalities to unlock the value of strategic assets including land and buildings. It will also assist with job creation initiatives, including developing business/industrial hubs and many other initiatives.
We will continue to engage municipalities and stakeholders in other parts of the province, as they are important partners in ensuring that the lives of our people are improved. As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society."