Sexwale to engage business on housing backlog

Monday, May 25, 2009

Johannesburg - Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, is to ask the top 200 companies listed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to identify how the financial sector can assist government in eliminating its housing backlog.

"The business sector could play a pivotal role in removing the 2.2 million housing backlog," said Mr Sexwale, speaking on Monday at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange after a meeting with housing MECs from all nine provinces.

The meeting was aimed at identifying key strategies to be used in fighting the housing backlog in the country.

The minister said the department would also approach individuals in business and other sectors to see how they could help, particularly by building homes for the less fortunate.

"I have already raised this possibility with some people and have been pleasantly surprised at the response.

"We are also going to be meeting with the leadership of the financial sector, to see what can be done to create new forms of finance and to increase access to finance for the unbanked," he said.

He said many meetings would be held at the JSE in the future to discuss with business how they could be allies in the war against the housing backlog.

Mr Sexwale is expected to take the decisions that were made at the MinMEC meeting to the Cabinet Lekgotla which starts on Tuesday where government will map out its programme of action for the year ahead.