Home builders escape ban

2008-04-24 00:00

Cape Town — Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu yesterday moved to reassure South Africans that electricity supply shortages will not affect new residential property developments requiring less than 100 KW and low-income housing projects.

Sisulu’s reassurance comes in the wake of concerns raised last month by the Banking Association of South Africa that perceptions created after Eskom’s announcement of a so-called moratorium could negatively affect all future housing developments.

“After discussions between the Housing minister, the minister of Minerals and Energy Affairs, Buyelwa Sonjica, and the minister of Public Enterprises, Alec Erwin, Minister Sisulu wants to again confirm that government is committed to ensure new property developments requiring supplies of less than 100 KW or 100 KVA and affordable housing projects receive the necessary electricity supplies,” Sisulu’s department said in a statement yesterday.

“The power supply challenges can not be allowed to affect housing delivery to South Africa’s poor and government’s commitment to improve the living conditions of its citizens.”

Sisulu said any lingering doubts on this matter must now be laid to rest , particularly as Eskom itself said, on March 5, that it is not stopping any developments.

“All those developments that have already been applied for and have quotations will be honoured.”

Sisulu confirmed that the moratorium has always excluded low-cost housing developments, projects that had already obtained the required electricity certificates and any property developments requiring less than 100 KVA or 100 KW.

“The department of Housing has joined a government task team to ensure new building regulations are enacted to ensure energy-efficient housing.

Such criteria will also be incorporated into the standard regulations of the National Home Builders’ Registration Council. In addition, the housing department will play its role to ensure individual households are part of the national energy saving drive,” Sisulu said.

The department said that the government will release Eskom’s new electricity supply procedure next month.

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