Minister of Human Settlements, Western Cape Government
Western Cape Government Human Settlements Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela delivered the opening address at the Human Settlements Housing Consumer Education Workshop at the Iziko Museum, Victoria Street, Cape Town on 6 September, 2013. The intention of the workshop is for government to find ways to partner with the private sector, in order to increase the effectiveness of the housing consumer education programs.
“Let me welcome all our colleagues from the National Department of Human Settlements, the banking institutions, colleagues and service providers.
“We have a number of challenges when it comes to our clients, who are the beneficiaries of housing subsidies. Our focus until now has been mainly on the beneficiaries of free housing, who earn below R3500 a month. However, we deliver through 16 programs, and we also need to ensure our other beneficiaries are supported.”
“The state has delivered around 3.1 million houses since 1994, yet many of these houses are ‘dead capital’, which means these houses have not become part of the formal property market, and these houses have not been used as the wealth and value building assets which they were meant to be.”
“The state housing program is one way of dealing with the 1913 Land Act, ensuring that previously dispossessed people become property owners. We need to look at the housing programs as not just a social intervention, but also an economic intervention. We need to support people in using their properties to escape poverty.”
“We have a number of people who have received state housing, who are unable to afford to take care of their houses. If someone cannot take care of their house, they often just sell the house very cheaply to another, often on the informal market. These houses become dead capital, which no one wants to buy in the future, as the issues with buying an informally traded house lead to many problems down the line, such as lack of title deeds and official ownership. This also inhibits the potential growth of the property market.”
“Buying a house is a complicated process. One of the challenges is to simplify the process of buying a house, so we don’t end up with the problems we have. One of the reasons we have a low value informal property market based on state housing, is that the processes in officially buying and selling houses is so complex, and people often just prefer to exchange money and bypass the processes, due to the difficulty.”
“The property sector, which is a R4.9 trillion sector, is still dominated by white male estate agents. We need to make sure that previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs) are able to become part of this market, and in the Western Cape, we are leading the way in the country in finding solutions to facilitate transformation in this industry. We are working closely with the Estate Agents Agency Board, and other role players, to develop strategies to capacitate PDIs, in that they can be successful in this industry.”
“I see social housing as one of the programs which will ensure the sustainable future of housing. Currently, social housing is very complex to implement, and we need to find a way to simplify this program, so that more municipalities develop them. It’s essential to have housing solutions where the people contribute to services, as the increasing load on municipalities of providing free services to fully subsidized housing development is not sustainable in the long term.“
“The continued provision of free housing is simply not sustainable. We have to shift to solutions where people contribute something, or else we will reach a point where our municipalities collapse.”
“In the Western Cape, we have hundreds of thousands of people in the so called gap market, earning between R3500 and R15000 a month, yet cannot afford to buy a house. We need to find ways to help these people buy a house. And once we help them to buy a house, we need to find a way to properly educate them as to the value of their house, and how to care for their house. They need to understand that if they don’t keep paying their mortgage, or caring for their house, they may lose their house.”
“This is the purpose of the workshop today, which is to find a way to support gap market and other housing beneficiaries in understanding their roles and responsibilities as home owners. This will help them to empower themselves through understanding how to develop their houses as assets.“