South Africa to construct 1.5 million low-cost houses in five years

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The Government of South Africa is planning to construct 1.5 million low-cost houses over the next five years. The Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg last week.

The minister said that the government would achieve this target by implementing 50 catalytic megaprojects, each of which would involve construction of 10 000 dwellings. This would also help create jobs and build sustainable supportive industries.

This low-cost houses project would include construction of 200 000 housing units in mining towns in the next three years according to the Minister.

According to the Human Settlements Director General Thabane Zulu, identification of the criteria to use on these large scale projects had begun and proposals had already been accepted from the private sector. 80 proposals for the projects were currently being reviewed by the government according to him, and when the right ones are chosen they would then be integrated with the departments Ground Breaking strategy.

Upon completion of the low-cost houses project, Sisulu noted that priority of ownership will be given to the elderly, military veterans and households with young children. People below the age of 40 would not be considered.

On the previous low-cost housing project, the Government had made an overshot of a target of 1 million houses, delivering 1.2 million between 2009 and 2014. Despite constrains experienced at the construction stages, the houses were still delivered. The government had previously indicated an intention to expand Marikana low-cost housing project in 6888 housing units in the financial year 2014 to 2015.