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R10bn to be spent on upgrading informal settlements, Sisulu tells Parliament

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu.

Picture: Gallo Images/Frennie Shivambu

  • The authorities is planning to spend R10 billion over the following three years to improve informal settlements.
  • This year, 679 informal settlements are deliberate for upgrading by the provinces and 344 by metros.
  • On Tuesday, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu delivered her division’s finances vote speech.

The authorities plans to spend R10 billion over the following three years to improve informal settlements, as shacks proceed to mushroom round city cities.

On Tuesday, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu instructed Parliament that 679 informal settlements had been deliberate for upgrading by the provinces, and that 344 informal settlements would be targetted by metropolitan municipalities, this year.

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These plans for informal settlements and different social tasks had been revealed by Sisulu when she delivered her division’s finances vote speech.

Sisulu stated: 

In the previous few years, informal settlements had been primarily upgraded by means of relocation, as an alternative of in situ as envisaged within the coverage. Unfortunately, in 2020-21, the efficiency of the programme was undesirable as we had been nonetheless within the window interval in preparation for the informal settlements upgrading grant.

She stated R2.4 billion and R2.2 billion had been allotted for provinces and metros respectively, within the present finances to improve informal settlements.

Sisulu additionally stated that, over the following three years, about R10 billion had been ring-fenced to speed up the upgrading of informal settlements.

“The rapid growth of informal settlements in all major cities and towns necessitated a review of funding frameworks. The department has created a dedicated Upgrading of Informal Settlements Grant Funding Framework, exclusively set up to address the upgrading of informal settlement challenges in our country adequately,” she stated.

Measures

Sisulu stated, given the 7.0% financial decline in 2020, worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of aid measures had been applied.

“The construction sector contributes 3.9% to South Africa’s GDP and employs 1.3 million people. However, amid Covid-19, this sector has experienced hardship as a result of severe disruptions.

“The Covid-19 pandemic plunged many human settlements tasks throughout the nation to a halt, and through these difficult occasions, we had been compelled to re-evaluate contractual provisions and obligations, together with incorporating well being and security measures to adjust to Covid-19 laws,” she said.

The measures include a rental relief programme for those living in social housing developments.

The distribution of R300 million of the R600 million rental relief will start as soon as all of the necessary checks and balances are properly in place.

The first phase would target tenants in the social housing market, Sisulu said.

During the 2020-21 financial year, the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) processed 2 815 applications for government’s Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP).

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Of these FLISP applications, 2 120 were approved with a total value of R111 million.

FLISP is a government programme intended to assist prospective home buyers whose income is not enough to qualify for a traditional bank loan, but exceeds the maximum limit applicable to access the government’s free basic house subsidy scheme.

Those in this bracket are commonly referred to as the “hole market” and earn between R3 501 and R22 000 per month.

Sisulu stated the federal government had disbursed greater than R60 million to 1 136 beneficiaries.

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