Human Settlements war room to remove housing delivery blockages

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, says a national war room has been established to improve the speed and quality of housing delivery.

Kubayi said this when she participated in the department’s budget vote at a mini-plenary of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“To deal with the blockages and the slow pace of delivery, we have established a national Human Settlements War Room, with Mr Dan Gorbachev Mashitisho, the former Director General of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as the convener.

“In this work, he will be supported by a team of highly specialised individuals who will bring a broad range of much needed skills to the sector,” she said.

Among the tasks that the War Room team will be ceased with, includes:

  • Coordinating efforts, monitoring and fast-tracking the implementation of diverse projects across provinces;
  • Coordinating support of various entities and consolidating reporting to the War Room;
  • Providing project tracking tools on all projects to monitor and to report to the War Room;
  • Identifying strategic partners that could assist to unblock challenges in project implementation; and
  • Creating an enabling environment for cooperative governance in line with Intergovernmental Relations Act.

Policy changes to fast-track delivery

Kubayi said, meanwhile, that in addition to the technical capacity that will be brought in, the department has made some policy changes that are aimed at expanding the speed and quantity of delivery.

This includes:

  • The revised bands for the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme now called Help-Me-Buy-A-Home will come into effect in the current financial year;
  • The applicable subsidy quantums also being revised by 20.9 percent to ensure that they remain consistent with the ability of the department, through its implementing agents, to continue and improve delivery; and
  • The revision of the income bands from households earning an income between R1 500 to R15 000 to R1 850 to R22 000 gross monthly income to qualify for social housing came into effect.

Support for those affected by KZN floods

It has been a month since the coastal parts of KwaZulu-Natal experienced extremely heavy rainfall, causing severe damage in the eThekwini Metro and the Districts of King Cetshwayo, iLembe, Ugu and Umgungundlovu.

Kubayi said more than 15 000 houses were damaged, and these were split between fully damaged houses and partially destroyed houses.

“The areas affected include Alfred Nzo, OR Tambo and Joe Gqabi district municipalities. The North West and Western Cape provinces were also affected by floods and fire respectively.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank Team Human Settlements in the manner they worked to respond to this disaster, a special tribute to the team that worked in KZN.

“I have received an updated report that so far the KZN team has complied with the required real time audit prescripts and I have urged the team not to drop the ball, as this will build confidence in our communities that we are spending their resources correctly and we are accountable.

“Those who are affected by such disasters require alternative shelter immediately and others want to repair the damage to their homes as soon as it is possible.”  

Kubayi said to make this possible, the department has introduced a number of new directives applicable to provincial departments and municipalities in order to change the manner of intervention in disaster areas.

“These directives include 24-hour turnaround period for the assessments of the disaster and fast-tracking of repairs through a voucher system,” she said. –

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