/ 24 June 2008

Gauteng sets aside R3bn for housing

Over R3-billion was allocated to meet housing delivery needs in Gauteng, provincial housing minister Nomvula Mokonyane said in her budget speech on Tuesday.

She said the R3 099 253 000 budget, which was an increase of 16,64% from the previous year, would be used to consolidate the gains made in the delivery of houses in the province.

The department identified 122 informal settlements in 2004 to be upgraded by 2009.

To date 68 informal settlements had been formalised (upgraded in situ) and this had resulted in 325 000 people having access to water and sanitation, said Mokonyane.

”It is our goal to provide necessary services and tenure to about 710 000 people by 2009.

”Our ongoing commitment to the public is to ensure that all our people live in decent, secure and habitable environments,” she said.

The Department of Housing and provinces were in a process of drafting a Bill that would stamp out the unregulated mushrooming of informal settlements.

A total of 56 informal settlements in Gauteng would be upgraded and formalised in this financial year to benefit more than 380 000 families.

”This will be done through the installation of basic infrastructure such as roads, water, sanitation and other social amenities,” said Mokonyane.

The department was confident that the 2014 vision of eradicating all the registered informal settlements was achievable.

The department would continue with the mixed housing development programme and the province would continue with the construction of settlements in projects across the province.

”It remains our commitment to integrate our communities. The eradication of hostels which would see a number of them demolished throughout the province attests to this commitment,” she said. – Sapa