Mbombela - A total of 5 300 low cost houses will be built in Mpumalanga's impoverished local municipalities through the People's Housing Process (PHP).
Provincial Human Settlements MEC Siphosezwe Masango announced the plans when tabling his department's 2012/2013 R1.1 billion budget at the provincial legislature in Mbombela on Tuesday afternoon.
"The department has increased the number from 3 000 to 5 300 units to be delivered as a contribution to the province's rural development strategy- comprehensive rural development programme," said Masango.
The MEC said the PHP aimed to alleviate poverty, provide employment and skills in the true spirit of Vuk'uzenzele (meaning "do it for yourself").
The municipalities that will benefit from the programme include Nkomazi in Malalane, Bushbuckridge, J.S Moroka in Siyabuswa, Mkhondo in Piet Retief, Chief Albert Luthuli in Carolina and Pixley Ka Isaka Seme in Ermelo.
Masango said the department would further build 2 527 houses under the upgrading of informal settlements programme.
"On rural development, the department plans to deliver 450 rural housing subsidies and 270 units for the farming community," he added.
He said PHP allowed people to establish cooperatives that specialise in the production of bricks, windows and door frames.
"Interventions were, however, made to use the conventional route of utilising community resource organisations aimed at delivering the houses in a bid not to surrender the budget to other provinces," said the MEC.
Of the total departmental budget of R1 164 949 000, the department will spend R1 billion on housing development and implementation, R889 million on administration, R47.7 million on housing needs, research and planning and R5.5 million on housing asset management.
"[We wil]) deliver a total of 10895 housing units through various programmes and other required amenities towards the establishment of proper human settlements during the 2012/13 financial year," said the MEC.