20 year waiting list for houses
Marelize Barnard, Die Burger
Cape Town - The housing situation in the Mother City is so bad that people who are currently on waiting lists for houses will stay on those lists for another 15 to 20 years.
This was the sad picture painted by Cape Town mayor Dan Plato at a local housing conference on Sunday, where he said housing is the one thing that gets people up in arms.
"If I were in that position I would be doing the same thing and asking what the government is doing for me. People want houses."
Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape housing MEC, pointed out that South Africa has a population of 50 million people of which only 5.5 million are taxed.
"There are 15 million people receiving government grants, there are free schools and healthcare services, and the money for that comes from the same pocket."
Less to more
South Africans should be realistic about the available money, that's why there are new plans for spending at provincial level.
It costs about R30 000 to service a piece of land and nearly R70 000 to build a house. And for this reason, the provincial government would rather service more properties over the next four years.
The only way to help more people with the same limited budget is to give less to more people.
"It is important to help those who want to help themselves. This way people can go ahead and build their own houses on the properties, rather than living in squalor and waiting for help."
Madikizela added that those living in back yards and those in informal settlements should be treated the same way.
"In future development we want to treat people living in back yards and people from informal areas 50-50."
Plato said it should become clear up to parliamentary level that the current pace of housing delivery does not help people at grassroots level.
"Everyone wants a big property and house."
Plato said more people should be housed on a single piece of land and therefore multi-storey buildings are the solution.
"If one takes into account that 350 000 houses are needed, the properties would stretch from Cape Town to Malmesbury.
"Our infrastructure can't handle this."
There also isn't enough money for brick houses.
"Government should openly and honestly admit to the people that it can't afford properties with brick houses.
"We have to consider what we can afford and for that reason we have to think about servicing properties rather than building houses on properties," said Plato.