Housing backlog stands at 2.1 million – Sexwale

2013-06-07 11:09

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Government’s housing backlog stands at 2.1 million units, according to Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

He was speaking at a breakfast hosted by The New Age newspaper today.

The 2.1 million housing units, he said, affected more than eight million people and government wanted to remove the backlog by 2030. Currently, government had set a target of building 200 000 housing units a year, the minister said.

According to Sexwale, government was buying buildings in cities and land belonging to state owned entities to provide housing for people near where they worked.

Government had turned the corner in providing good quality houses for people, and at the same time was still spending money to repair old RDP houses.

“We should admit ... we started on a wrong foot. These RDP houses that people are saying are falling down, not a good job was done there.”

Sexwale said some of the houses were being demolished while some were being repaired.

There were also complaints that people waited too long to receive houses.

This was mainly caused by corruption in the allocation system, Sexwale said.

As to how long a person should wait before getting a house, Sexwale said: “It takes quite some time depending where you are on the list. On average, it should not be that long, within three to four years.”

On provision of sanitation, Sexwale said the problem was that other spheres of government failed to spend money.

“The danger here is that sometimes we deploy people that don’t have proper skills and they in turn employ people who’ve go no expertise.”

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