South African province Gauteng is set to construct 50,000 housing units in the current financial year thanks to an assurance by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements Paul Mashatile.
“We commit to deliver the 50 000 housing units during the current financial year and victory in the establishment of Mega Cities in this great province is most certainly within sight,” MEC Mashatile said.
MEC Mashatile said while tabling the department’s budget of US$376.8 million on Tuesday that the department was at advanced stages of planning and implementation of at least six big city development projects across the province.
These include Fort West in the Northern Corrido,Boiketlong and Vaal River City in the Southern Corridor, Lanseria City in the Central Corridor, Leeuwpoort in the Eastern Corridor, Alex City in the Central Corridor, Savannah City in the Southern Corridor and Syferfontein City in the Western Corridor.
A total of US$6.4 million has been set aside in the current financial year for the detailed planning of phase two of Syferfontein City and a further R100 million for bulk infrastructure in Savannah City.
In order to help avoid the challenges that come with the new approach to developing human settlements, Mashatile said the department will come up with strategic partnerships with private partners so as to implement its human settlement projects.
He also identified land scarcity as a big challenge and the department was hoping to solve it by implementing the protocol signed with the Housing Development Agency (HAD) to identify and hold land for development.
He said the focus in the current financial year will be to align the beneficiary administration system with the commitment to a people-centred approach of developmen which will include addressing the several complaints that have been received about the system. He said they plan to roll out biometric systems that would help stop fraud and corruption cases during the allocation of RDP houses and will allow for allocation of stands and tiltle deeds to the right beneficiaries even before the actual construction begins.
The MEC added that five hostels, among them Dube, Diepkloof, Jabulani, Meadowlands and Orlando West, have been selected for a pilot project under Community Residential Units (CRU) programme.
The department started the Hostel Redevelopment Programme in 2007 aimed at eradicating single gender hostels, which were constructed in the 1950s as accommodation foe the migrant labour system of the day.