Production

Human Settlements MECs commit to deliver on housing target

Although business and the country may be battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Provincial Human Settlements MECs have made an undertaking to accelerate housing delivery over the next coming months.

The MEC made the commitment during a meeting between Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo, and all MECs (MINMEC).

The MINMEC said the acceleration of housing delivery will ensure the department delivers 100 000 housing opportunities by March 2022.

R3.3bn spent on housing delivery

The Human Settlements Department has managed to deliver close to 15 000 housing opportunities, with R3.3 billion spent during the first quarter of the current financial year.

In its preliminary expenditure report for the first quarter (April to June 2021), the department revealed that R3.3 billion has been spent against the R4.2 billion transferred to the provinces.

“This amount has made it possible for thousands of beneficiaries to have decent shelter over their heads,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu urged provinces to deliver on their set targets, spend their budget allocations to provide affordable housing opportunities and “avoid a situation in which some of their resources are reallocated to better performing provinces”.

Delivering her Budget Vote Speech in May 2021, the Minister announced that over R13 billion had been allocated to the provinces to deliver much-needed housing opportunities.

Other issues discussed at the MINMEC meeting included a report in relation to the provinces paying contractors within 30 days, progress made in the implementation of the 40% set aside for women and youth contractors, and partnership with the private developers to accelerate housing delivery.

The MINMEC also discussed the possible adjustment of the quantum, as it has not been escalated since 2018.

The meeting further noted significant changes in construction and labour costs, which have affected the sector.

Source: South African Government News Agency