Housing scheme under way to help public servants - Ramatlhodi

2016-05-11 16:33
Ngoako Ramatlhodi. (File, City Press)

Ngoako Ramatlhodi. (File, City Press)

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Cape Town - An initiative has been started to help low-earning public servants own their own houses, Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said on Wednesday.

"As a caring employer, government would like to see all public servants owning a house," he said during his department’s budget vote debate.

The Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS) was meant to help those of the estimated 1.3 million public servants who earned too little to qualify for a bond.

Ramatlhodi's predecessor Collins Chabane had championed the project before he was killed in a car crash in March 2015.

Civil servants already qualified for a R1 200 housing subsidy if they owned their property. This did not help employees who earned too little to qualify for a home loan.

Ramatlhodi said a project management office and a call centre had been set up for the scheme. Public servants were already being enrolled into the scheme and given information about it.

In terms of a Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council resolution, the programme included advice to employees on home ownership options and how to go about renting to buy.

According to the resolution, 70% of employees who qualified for the R1 200 housing subsidy did not own their own homes.

The GEHS would help employees with their finance applications, facilitate access to housing subsidies, and help negotiate favourable lending terms with financial institutions.

Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  parliament 2016

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