Over 2.6mil houses built since 1994

Friday, February 6, 2009

Parliament - The Department of Housing has made significant progress towards housing delivery by building more than 2.6 million houses for more than 14 million needy households since 1994.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address at the opening of Parliament on Friday, President Kgalema Motlanthe said: "Government's social programmes have improved the asset base of the poor, in the form of housing with 2.6-million subsidised houses provided."

He further said that female-headed households received a bigger part of the social wage portion over the years.

"It is a matter of proud record that, for instance, female-headed households have received a bigger-than-average share of the social wage including housing and health care," the President said.

He said although much progress has been made, more should be done.

"Overall, we are proud of the advances in our social programmes. But we cannot satisfy ourselves merely with quantitative change.

"Be it in education, health, housing, water or sanitation, the central question that confronts us every day is how to improve the quality of these services. On this we still have some way to go," he said.

Housing delivery had increased rapidly from 1994 to 1999 and more than 721 813 houses were built in the first five years and more than 892 699 units were built in the second five years.

To address the housing needs of certain households, particularly in rural areas, the Department of Housing facilitated the delivery of approximately 186 000 incremental housing opportunities between 2004 and 2008 through housing finance provided by the National Housing Finance Development Institutions.

During the period from 2004 to 2008 the department, through its housing delivery policy, Breaking New Ground (BNG), created an estimated 311 600 direct job opportunities in addition to a further 290 750 indirect job opportunities, making a total of 602 350 job opportunities.