Informal settlements, rapid migration and slow economic growth are some of the challenges that hinder government’s ability to deliver services effectively, says Human Settlements Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo.
“I see this clearly as I visit communities that are affected by wild fires, pressures of landlessness, and unfortunately, a chain of corruption and maladministration that affects the poor,” Mfeketo said.
Mfeketo was speaking in Parliament during her Budget Vote in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday.
A total of R31.3 billion of the department’s budget was allocated as grant funding and transfers in the 2018/19 financial year. This was divided between provinces, municipalities and human settlements entities.
Of this, R18.1 billion went to all nine provinces whilst R11.3 billion went to the country’s metropolitan municipalities and R1.1 billion to the seven human settlements entities.
These funds are meant for the provision of sustainable human settlements, bulk infrastructure as well as public amenities.
About R140 million and R260 million was set aside for emergency housing for municipalities and provinces, respectively.
“We urge efficient use of this emergency fund to alleviate the plight of our people in the face of unfortunate circumstances such as fires, floods and other natural disasters,” said Mfeketo.
Taking care of middle-income earners
To support workers earning less than R15 000 per month to access home loans, the Minister said over R900 million was allocated for the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP).
FLISP allows qualifying beneficiaries to reduce the initial mortgage loan amount or augment the shortfall between the qualifying loan and the total house price bringing the eventual home loan instalment to an affordable amount over the loan repayment period.
FLISP targets households whose income range is R3 501 to R15 000 and are South African citizens.
“We continue to call on banks to help increase access to home loans in order to close the gap for this important sector of workers across all industries.
“I can say it in this House without fear of contradiction, that the success or failure of the national department depends on the performance of provinces and municipalities. This House is the most appropriate institution to hold all levels of the executive accountable,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za