DA HOUSING SUMMIT – WESTERN CAPE MINISTER PUSHES INFORMAL SETTLEMENT UPGRADE

Statement by Janet Semple MPL

DA Gauteng Housing Spokesperson

Today at a Democratic Alliance Housing Summit held in Johannesburg, Western Cape Minister for Human Settlements, Bonginkhosi Madikizela, criticised present housing policy as unsustainable, and advocated more emphasis on upgrading informal settlements.

He said that houses needed to be given to those who most deserved them, which is not always the case presently.

When comparing Western Cape housing delivery to Gauteng, it should be noted that Gauteng got R4 billion housing allocation in this financial year, while Western Cape got R1.725 billion.

Western Cape will be servicing 11 000 sites and building 15 000 houses this year, but the emphasis is moving towards upgrading informal settlements which would better assist the most vulnerable people. This includes provision of running water, sanitation, electricity and roads. The preference is to “develop people where they are”, rather than relocation which is disruptive for the people involved.

The DA government in the Western Cape is laying the foundations for long term formalisation of informal settlements.

DA Gauteng Housing Spokesperson Janet Semple said that policy should allow people the opportunity to live in dignity in a decent home with a sense of belonging. They need to own an asset which would appreciate over time, be left to future generations and used as collateral for a loan to upgrade or run a small business.

Delegates at the DA Summit discussed an Equal Housing Opportunity (EHO) proposal that would help people who fall into the so called “gap market” and are unable to qualify for a home loan, although they have a steady income.

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