20 year waiting list for houses

2010-11-15 08:19

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."

Build up

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.

  • AJ - 2010-11-15 08:52

    The problem with multi-storey buildings is that they inevitably degenerate and become hellholes in their own right.

  • pointblankza - 2010-11-15 08:53

    Fair statements.

  • colafantacervezabeer - 2010-11-15 09:03

    After world war 2 some governments of the destroyed countries made a deal with the people, if you help to rebuilt the city you get an apartment as your reward. This resulted in the government only having to supply building material and the people built their own "homes" and had pride in the city, after all they built parts of it. I agree that apartment buildings are the way to go, and to decrease more of the dependence on tax money let the community members that can not help with the building take care of the cleaning of streets, start kindergartens to look after the kids of the workers etc. and start building up the community from within.

  • agthorpe - 2010-11-15 09:18

    The UK is filled with multi-storey buildings @AJ. It doesn't have to be massive areas. But semi-detached housing that's double storey already save a LOT on infrastructure. Brick housing is also overrated in South Africa. Alternative housing of GOOD quality can be seen worldwide and is much faster to construct. The thermal advantages of these buildings would also benefit us regarding the massive power usage problems.

  • reemarais - 2010-11-15 09:51

    +- 10% of the population is subsidising the other 90%. South Africa is a welfare state. Why does the majority of SA think that it is fair for them to receive free housing, free medical, roads, running water, electricity and any services at all if they do not contribute at all! The feeling of entitlement isn’t helping any one. Government should only serve citizens that contribute to the good of South Africa, Be it income tax payers, People that cannot offered to pay income tax need to contribute in other ways such as community services or help build the communities. The current system is not sustainable and punishes the Tax payer.

      agthorpe - 2010-11-15 11:02

      I also think that these houses should not be free! The more houses and free electricity, the more the rest of us will have to pay...

  • GV - 2010-11-15 09:56

    With the excessive population growth, I doubt if the housing requirement will ever be met. I wonder if there is some sort of national control in place which prevents people from applying for houses in more than one area.

  • Jay - 2010-11-15 09:58

    Panel housing has proven to be both cheaper and energy effective, however the people dont want it because it is not brick. Maybe they need to be educated. P.S can i also get a free home please, i dont mind if its panel housing?

  • Pilot - 2010-11-15 10:19

    Ho ho ho, maybe Father Christmas can Fulfil the ANC's promise to build houses with money that the government just does not have. Maybe if Julius would shut his mouth, the world might just aid the process…

  • kulula90 - 2010-11-15 10:31

    Quick solutions to the problem. Instead of building houses why not customise conteners into flats (as they do in holand). Very quick to set up and a contener probably cost between R10-20K each. With some volumes it would probably cost even less... Just a thought though...

      DeonL - 2010-11-15 11:27

      Great thought, but most people wants bricks, I say if they want bricks they can wait 30 years!

  • Thangy - 2010-11-15 11:13

    Considering the current state of affairs, why the hell would the ruling party promise more houses?

  • DeonL - 2010-11-15 11:15

    If they have to wait for + 20 years for a home, maybe the poor can get a job and afford to buy a small flat or home and in a better area perhaps?

      dsoutter - 2010-11-15 12:04

      You make it sound like it's so simple to just life yourself out of poverty... Like they're just too lazy to walk out their door and get a job... Everyday I drive around the city and there's endless street corners with people begging / asking for jobs. SA has a +- 40% unemployment rate. The people WANT to work, but there are just not enough jobs. What the government should be addressing is education. Three of the biggest problems in SA (Crime, poverty & corruption) can all be solved with education. It's the only thing that sets you and me apart from the townships.

      Fred Basset - 2010-11-15 13:01

      @dsoutter - I disagree totally. Most of these people do not want to WORK, they want a JOB. ie they want to earn a wage, but they do not necessarily understand that they must labour for the money. Ask anyone from a construction site how many casual labourers they go through.

  • Arthur Phili - 2010-11-15 11:41

    A total of R100 000 for a house? I currently don't own a house in South Africa and given the high tax rate and the 2nd tax (paying private companies to do what the government doesn't) I won't be able to afford a house if I was in RSA still (one of the reasons I left). Crazy, R100 000 per house? My grandmother and grandfather paid tax their whole lives, saved for pension and due to insane property rates lost their house, now they live in an old age home we pay for, as it was cheaper. Their maid of +-50 years receive better benefits than they do, she has a house and bigger state pension, the ANC paid for that vote, funded by non-ANC supporters mostly. So much for contributing to the economy for all those years, they should have left 60 years ago like me. Given how much tax I paid, I think I deserve a house also, I would love to own my own property, as I rented a single room and shared a bathroom whilst paying about R175 000 effective tax a year. Wow, it pays to be unemployable, it pays to have more children than you can afford, it pays to settle on land you don't own. Really if I could receive a R100 000 house I'd stop working for a year, it would be worth it. These people are poor because they live beyond their means, having children they can't afford generation after generation. They receive allot for free, which is why they think white people under the NP did also. Fact is people worked very hard for their assets, free housing like this is a crime against taxpayers.

  • sceptic - 2010-11-15 12:01

    What surprises me is that In South Africa, Houses are given away for free. Yes there are disadvantaged people who cannot afford it but apartments? Definately not. We want houses!! Our Government promised us houses and we will have houses!! We will not live in apartments, we are the previously disadvantaged. Viva ANC Viva!!! I know of at least three houses that were given away and the "owners" are renting them out to other people who are not even native to South Africa. Keep the houses coming We want to make more money from rentals!!!! And why not? I was brought up with the understanding that if I worked for it, I can have anything I desire. and it is true!!!!

  • hamcando - 2010-11-15 13:20

    giving houses away for free is the problem, they should have to work/buy back the house in some way.if you get given soemthing for free it does not have the same value as if you had bought it yourself

  • Ricardo - 2010-11-17 09:54

    I think we should not only blame the poor . we should blame the systemof how things get done. some people get free housing and then they sell there house to live in another shack. The government must draw the line and provide housing for those that are really needy and assist poor people by getting them of the blacklist system so that they can buy themselfs a house. dont just judge but provide solutions for the poor because we live okay and now we take the poor to ransom. Blame the apartheid government for provding free services for the poor until now that the ANC is also doing the same. The DA has failed the poor and the ANC i think we as the people of Cape Town must give another party a change to rule the province to see what they can offer. We should vote IFP to see if they can rule better in Cape Town. I have been DA for the last 4 years and I have seen no difference accept evictions of the poor and i will never vote for the ANC BECAUSE THE WANT TO RULE AND DEVIDE.

  • kenneth.corsar - 2011-01-19 20:42

    High density living brings about its own set of issues - the ghetto type world which encourages crime, as the communal element of caring for the local environment is deferred to others - whereas individual houses create a community spirit. Rather than blocks of flats, lets look at terraced semi detached houses - share common walls and some infrastructural elements. Alternative technologies to build faster and with the same benefits as brick exist - SSB / SEB (these are materials with a history going back hundreds of yesrs in Africa, but where science has stepped in and made more durable)using elements like cement is expensive, has reduced thermal efficiency. Infrastructure should also provide serviced plots so those who can afford and wish to build their own homes can do so. Government can support this with a guarantee fund which would provide an element of protection to the credit provider, underwriting cover does not require the same deep pockets as a full turnkey housing solution; as the percentage of the total would be secured through this mechanism. The time has come to think about this holistically and not as a polictical bargaining chip!

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