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Showing posts from February, 2007

Housing options for lower-income people

Sunday Times - Property
People earning less than R1,500 month, qualify for a government housing subsidy to the value of R36,528, which is the cost of building a RDP house. To buy a similar house, it would cost about R100,000
Buli Gotyana lives in a shack in Seaview, near Port Elizabeth. She had an RDP house, but had to vacate it when it was found she had been incorrectly assigned the tiny home in Greenbushes. At the time, she was six months pregnant and the stress of having to return to shack life – without electricity and having to collect water from the community tap – concerned her. She had no idea how she would look after her new baby in this kind of environment.
Nevertheless, she was able to buy a used shack for R400 and after her baby son was born in October she settled into motherhood in her new home – determined that her child would have the best she could give.
Buli decided to approach her employers for help in finding out how she could buy or build a small house in her area.
The …

Housing needs fast-tracking

South Africa’s proposed national housing agency is needed to fast-track housing delivery in the next two years and resolve problems of slow pace of approvals by municipalities and provincial governments for affordable low-income housing, says Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Legislation would be put to parliament this year to provide a legal framework for the agency, Sisulu told a media briefing at Parliament.
Sisulu said the new agency would need to work closely with developers and the banking sector to accelerate delivery of housing. South Africa needed to build 500,000 houses a year - but instead it was achieving somewhere in the region of 265,000 this financial year.
The private sector was producing some 60,000 housing units.
The housing department budget was being fully utilised, she said, noting that she had been "nice" to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel but that she could not expect her budget to be doubled.
Noting that it sometimes took three years to get the appropriate a…

Concern over uncompleted Bay housing projects

THE provincial portfolio committee on housing and the committee on public accounts have expressed concern about the poor working relationship between the provincial housing department and the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.
Speaking yesterday after a tour of blocked projects in Nelson Mandela Bay, housing portfolio committee chairman Dennis Neer said the two were “not speaking the same language” and this was adversely affecting housing delivery.
“We are concerned. The municipality is telling us a different story from what the provincial housing department is saying. For instance, the housing department told the committee there were about seven blocked projects in Nelson Mandela Bay, but when we came to the municipality, we were told there were only two.
“This is a cause of great concern. If the housing department is allocating money for seven blocked projects to be unblocked and the municipality is saying there are only two, where is the other funding going to? This is serious. We will …

IOL: R100m housing tender graft exposed in Gauteng

IOL: R100m housing tender graft exposed in Gauteng: "The Star can on Thursday reveal the contents of an explosive forensic report into tender irregularities worth over R100-million in the Gauteng department of housing.

Implicating the most senior officials in the department, the report - which was never made public - was so damaging that it is understood its author was forced to omit certain details.

The two men at the centre of the allegations are Eugene Perumal, former chief director of the department, and Sibusiso Buthelezi, then the housing head of department (HoD) and now in the same position at the Department of Transport."

IOL: Low-cost housing fraud to be rooted out

IOL: Low-cost housing fraud to be rooted out: "Low-cost housing fraud to be rooted out

October 05 2006 at 02:16PM

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) will investigate corruption in low cost housing subsidy schemes, its head Willie Hofmeyr said on Thursday.

'We hope to start an investigation within the next few months,' Hofmeyr told reports at a National Press Club briefing in Pretoria.

The SIU will appoint 50 new investigators to work full time on the project.

'We are looking at fictitious applications, fraud committed by conveyancers and houses which were not built even though payment was made,' said SIU deputy head Faiek Davids.

He said investigations would initially focus on KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The unit said they would give more details once the President had issued a proclamation for them to continue with them. - Sapa"

Housing backlog increases despite new homes : Mail & Guardian Online

Housing backlog increases despite new homes : Mail & Guardian Online: "South Africa's housing backlog has widened due to growing urbanisation and demand despite the building of 1,9-million new homes for the poor since the end of apartheid in 1994, the government said.

Of the total figure, 1,6-million houses worth about R37-billion have already been transferred to poor households, according to a review released late on Tuesday by the national treasury.

'Despite these delivery rates, the housing backlog has grown,' it said, adding that the number of dwellings classified as 'inadequate' -- mostly shacks -- had grown 20% from 1,5-million in 1996 to 1,8-million in 2001.

'This is because of the increased demand and the pace of urbanisation, with urban populations growing at 2,7% per year,' it said.

The report also expressed concern about the quality of state-subsidised houses, saying there was 'emerging evidence that some of the houses did not comply wit…

High-speed housing plan needed

High-speed housing plan needed February 15, 2007By Donwald PresslyJohannesburg - South Africa's proposed national housing agency is needed to fast-track housing delivery in the next two years and resolve problems of slow pace of approvals by municipalities and provincial governments for affordable low-income housing, says Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.Legislation would be put to parliament this year to provide a legal framework for the agency, Sisulu told a media briefing at Parliament.Sisulu said the new agency would need to work closely with developers and the banking sector to accelerate delivery of housing. South Africa needed to build 500 000 houses a year - but instead it was achieving somewhere in the region of 265 000 this financial year.The private sector was producing some 60 000 housing units.The housing department budget was being fully utilised, she said, noting that she had been "nice" to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel but that she could not expect her bu…

Housing the Nation

Business Day (Johannesburg) EDITORIALFebruary 13, 2007 Posted to the web February 13, 2007 Johannesburg
THE delivery of low-cost housing has long been one of government's toughest challenges.
No matter how fast SA builds houses, more are needed, to the point where the housing backlog has actually risen in recent years.
President Thabo Mbeki's frustration was clear in his state of the nation address on Friday. Despite funding 300000 new subsidies over the past two years, he said, the pace of delivery was much slower than expected and had to be addressed.
Government can no longer point to the banking sector as a key factor in stalling the process. Last year, government and banks reached agreement on how to proceed with the R42bn banks had promised to lend in low-income home loans as part of the financial sector charter. While it seems that not all elements of this agreement have been implemented, the banks have clearly tried to come to the party.
Almost half of the agreed amount has …

Eastern Cape underspending, failing its people’ February 05, 2007, 17:15

The Eastern Cape is underspending on its allocated provincial budget and therefore failing its people, the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) said. Adrienne Carlisle, the PSAM spokesperson, said the province's budget had been underspent in the 2006/2007 financial year."Our concern is that the Eastern Cape had spent only 60.45%, or R1.24 billion out of its R2.5 billion capital budget by the end of December. This means that only 69.5% of the budget had been spent," said Carlisle. She said provinces at this stage of the year should have utilised about 75% of their budget.Education department on track with spendingThe National Treasury's quarterly spending results are responsible for the in-year monitoring mechanism that enables departments to reflect on achievements and to take steps necessary in correcting over or under expenditure.This ensures that the departments spend funds allocated to them responsibly, said Carlisle.Some of the departments that underspen…

The danger of what we don't know

I wrote this article for the current issue of ACCESSHousing (No. 5, January 2007) which is available on the FinMark Trust’s website. I thought it might be a useful way to get back to a regular posting…

By now we should all know that the old saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” can’t be right. To know whether a snake is poisonous is useful information when faced with a hissing serpent that is advancing on your ankle. Information makes one better equipped to deal with the situation at hand, to respond appropriately, strategically, and competitively.
An ongoing mission of the FinMark Trust has been explicitly this: to provide critical information into the sector in support of evidence-based policy making, transformation and innovation towards making financial markets work for the poor. In the process of doing this, FinMark hopes that other players will see the benefit of this approach and integrate it into their systems and processes. The information that we generate, through …

BusinessDay Exporter

Monday, 05 February 2007

Posted to the web on: 05 February 2007Home-grown building an instant success
SA is already exporting what could turn out to be the solution to the domestic housing crisis, writes Sipho Masondo
IT IS no secret that the South African government is struggling to provide houses for the masses. The housing department says there is a backlog of about 2, 4 million houses, despite construction of almost the same number since 1994.
However, a home-grown “instant housing” technology is being used successfully in a number of countries, and questions have been raised because it is not being used in local mass construction projects.
Port Elizabeth entrepreneur Hennie Botes has been successfully exporting his “instant housing” technology for the past decade. His company, Moladi, markets his idea mainly to third world countries like Panama, Mexico, Angola, Botswana, Brazil and Kenya.
Negotiations are currently under way for Moladi to set up shop in Tanzania, Namibia, Nigeria, Zim…

Housing and local government lags behind in E Cape grant spending

By Patrick Cull
THE Eastern Cape has spent less than 70% of the more than R1,2-billion in conditional grants it received from National Treasury for the first nine months of the current financial year.
The worst offender is housing and local government, having spent only a fraction over R291-million of the R656,7-million it received for the integrated housing and human settlement grant. In addition to the more than R365-million the department has not spent to date, National Treasury still has to transfer some R94-million to the province.
Apart from this grant and the ill-fated national school nutrition programme grant of which only R157,6-million out of R233,8-million had been spent by the end of the third quarter with little hope of the remainder being allocated, the Eastern Cape was essentially on track at the end of December.
Both the education and health departments were up to speed in spending grants for HIV/Aids, with education having used R21-million of its R25-million grant for lif…

Auditor‘s report slams waste as 200 houses must be rebuilt

THE Cacadu district municipality is rebuilding 200 houses in Paterson which are falling apart, allegedly because of shoddy workmanship by a contractor who was awarded the job by the municipality.
The municipality is also taking legal action against the contractor, who won a contract to build about 600 houses three years ago.
The Auditor-General in his report, tabled at a full Cacadu council meeting this week, slammed the municipality for “failing to adequately” monitor the project.
The AG‘s report also lambasted the municipality for not complying with accounting standards which are outside the ambit of the Standard of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice and the Standards of Generally Accepted Municipal Accounting Practices.
The AG said the demolishing and rebuilding of the 200 houses at a cost of about R10-million, amounted to “fruitless and wasteful expenditure”.
Municipal manager Ted Pillay said yesterday the houses in question had been built “many years ago. At the time of construc…