Govt housing subsidies reserved for qualifying S Africans

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says all government housing subsidies are reserved for qualifying South Africans only.

“Foreign nationals who are legal in the country, like all South Africans who do not qualify for government subsidies can secure accommodation in the private market through rental or purchase of a property,” said Minister Sisulu.

The Minister was reacting to media statements by the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, academics and non-governmental organizations on the issue of housing policy for legal foreign nationals in South Africa.

According to the media reports, Mayor Mashaba said he had no problem with building free houses for foreign nationals, if given the funding.

The Housing Ministry has called on Mayor Mashaba to engage with Human Settlements MEC in the province or the Director-General of the National Department of Human Settlements for further assistance, guidance and consultation on the matter.

Respond to rapid urbanization

Minister Sisulu insisted that the City of Johannesburg and other major cities in South Africa must respond to the rapid urbanization by developing more social housing and rental accommodation for low income earners.

"All our cities must respond to urbanisation by increasing the number of social housing and rental accommodation in their areas, they must use old buildings and also negotiate with owners of invaded buildings to hand them over to government and private developers to convert them into rental and social housing accommodation for low income earners," said  Minister Sisulu.

She also added that government is considering stricter measures to ensure that owners of land and properties take care of their assets, warning that if they fail, government will intervene to prevent illegal occupation.

"Owners of buildings and land must look after their properties, municipalities must act when owners are not looking after their properties and allowing illegal squatters to occupy these, and municipalities must act against those owners." – SAnews.gov.za

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