The Minister of Human Settlements made her budget speech today. I made some notes for myself as there was so much content and decided it would be better to share them – hope you find at least one or two useful points among them. My occasional comments are in italics.
The targets were quite neatly set out for 100 days, 12 months and 5 years respectively, which makes easy reading:
- Plan revitalisation of mining towns with Chamber of Mines, banking sector and provinces
- Issue title deeds for pre- and post-1994 stock
- N2 Gateway Project in Cape Town, to become a National Project again
- Re-embark on mega-projects, including revitalising Cosmo City
- Credible waiting list data – service level agreement with SITA – Housing database to be set up within 100 days
- Sign a social contract with the Banking Association
- Restructure the Human Settlements entities – Housing Development Agency (HDA) to become a fully-fledged development agency to acquire, develop, project manage and assist municipalities (but no mention of any capital budget to acquire land)
- Explore absorption of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) into the National Department.
- Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) to be placed under administration and explore its absorption into the National Department
- Establish a Women and Youth Construction Programme
- Establish a training academy with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC)
- EAAB will train young black candidate estate agents
- Youth brigade to be established in each province
- All indigent military veterans to receive houses in less than 3 years and train them to build their own houses
- Resolve the “thorny contestation” between local and provincial spheres regarding accreditation
- Master Spatial Plan for Human Settlements to be developed for provision of infrastructure and amenities
- Enhance the Housing Database to track ownership history
- HDA to develop a register to track subsidies awarded, developments with subsidy funding and land acquisition in all provinces
- Review policies and legislation
- Each province to launch a plan to deliver 10,000 house and 5,000 serviced stands over the next 5 years, in the proportion of 20% rental units, 20% Gap, 30% BNG, 10% social housing and 20% serviced sites for employer-assisted housing.
- Deliver 1.5 million houses
- Complete the revitalisation of mining towns
- Complete the Master Spatial Plan for Human Settlements
Other Points Raised
- NDoHS will seek legal advice on expropriation of buildings with absentee landlords and review the PIE Act
- Over 1 million employees earn between R1,500 and R10,000 per month, searching for houses costing between R100,000 and R250,000 each. Current backlog of 600,000 units in the affordable market. Revive the social contract drawn up in 2005 and draw employers into the contract. Government, as the biggest employer, will have to be a major player. [Watch this space …..]
- Great demand for rental in cities and centres of economic development for low income earners and students – social housing will be used for sustainable provision of affordable housing. [The link between social housing and student accommodation has not been made formally before – could this be an indication of something to come?]
- Planning discussions with big employers and representatives of employees to see how serviced sites can be leveraged to assist employees to own houses.
- An audit company will be appointed to audit some of the housing entities and the responsibility that the DoHS should have had over them.
- Landowners must protect the land they own – once a land invasion has occurred their land loses value. “Due processes” have to be followed when removing occupiers of land. The law is intended to protect the rights of people who have established their homes and the owners of private property. [This statement might need further clarification at some point, as it could be interpreted to suit the occupier or the land owner.]
- Delivery of homes has dropped by 25% over the past 5 years – explanations were blocked pipelines, financial arrangements and other matters. The target for the next 5 years needs to include making up for the deficit, so has been set at 1.5million housing opportunities.
My Overall comments:
- Good to see that something is going to be done about the state of administration and title deeds.
- Emphasis on employer-assisted housing, which has not been addressed for a long time, but looks as if it will gain more impetus this time.
- Some quite radical changes in method of delivery have been suggested, with emphasis on delivery by women and the youth.
- What will arise from the policy and legislation review?
- Very sad to see the SHRA being placed into administration, and slightly concerned about projects with unfulfilled funding commitments and future projects, but let’s hope these will be allowed to continue.
- There is silence about the proposed consolidation of the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC), NURCHA and RHLF. The briefing notes state that RHLF will be incorporated into the NHFC, but what is happening to NURCHA?
- If land acquisition and development is to be given impetus, the HDA needs to be given a capita budget to fulfil its mandate.
Hope you found this useful. Let’s see how all these plans work out over the coming months and years…..