Department evolves to improve housing delivery

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Department of Human Settlements is changing the way it does things to deliver houses more efficiently to communities in need. 

The department has put together a “3C protocol”, which will see better coordination, cooperation and collaboration in human settlement projects. 

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Tuesday said the 3C model will be used in the development of mega projects of no less than 15 000 rental, subsidised and mortgaged housing units. 

“These projects will each provide housing for an estimated 45 000 to 60 000 individuals,” the Minister said at the UNISA Human Settlements Seminar held in Tshwane on Tuesday. 

Held under the theme ‘How the human settlements sector is responding to the rapid increase of urbanisation in South Africa’, the seminar provided a platform for sharing information between government officials, academics and various practitioners in the human settlements sector. 

It is aimed at seeking solutions to current challenges such as rapid urbanisation and transformation of cities. 

Minister Sisulu said the successful delivery of mega projects requires integrated development planning, radical spatial transformation, mixed housing, security of tenure and urban renewal as a means of serving burgeoning urban populations. 

Strengthened partnerships with the financial sector, developers, the built environment professions and communities were also necessary to mega project success, the Minister said. 

Job creation 

Minister Sisulu acknowledged the human settlement development as being good for job creation during and post development. 

“Based on the Expanded Public Works Formula, it is estimated that in Gauteng alone, we will over the next 15 years directly create 250 000 jobs in construction of housing and infrastructure.” 

The Minister said focus will be on the provision of basic services and infrastructure, community participation and skills development, livelihood creation, incremental housing development and support, social facilities such as clinics, schools and playgrounds, as well as safety and security. 

Township regeneration and mining towns

The department will also revitalise old townships and support mining towns by improving infrastructure and housing, and supporting the development of businesses and recreational facilities.   

“We will strive to change these settlements from ‘desperate and desolate’ to ‘positive and participating’. This will also include the rejuvenation of our inner cities and will be done by tracking down absent landlords or expropriating unused buildings where landlords cannot be traced, and assigning them for the purpose of building social housing next to places of work and student accommodation close to places of higher learning,” the Minister said. 

Housing social compact 

Minister Sisulu said the department has formed a social compact with all stakeholders, including development professions and academia. 

She said that they have recognised that the existing development professions, including planners, architects and engineers, have very specialised knowledge in their own fields. 

“In order to augment our implementation capacity, I have, however, become convinced that there is a need for a new class of trained professional to draw together all the strands of sustainable human settlement development. Hence, we have entered into a special relationship with a number of academic institutions, of which UNISA is one, to develop a curriculum and institute a study programme for a human settlements profession.” 

She noted that the combined efforts are bearing fruit. The Online Distance Learning Bachelor of Public Administration in Human Settlements at UNISA has enrolled some 100 students since its first intake in 2016. 

She said the skills and job opportunities created, will fill a very important gap in the successful implementation of New Urban Agenda. 

“We look forward to welcoming these graduates into the human settlements family and thank the academic fraternity for providing the knowledge and research that is key to the success of our endeavours,” said Minister Sisulu. –

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