KZN built 94% of its housing target

2011-01-13 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements and Public Works has denied reports that it could lose its housing grant and downplayed the fact that it’s going to lose about R200 million from its R2,7 billion budget, saying that it’s only “surrendering the small portion of R200 million to provinces who can spend it at this point”.

That's according to a statement issued by the KZN department’s acting media liaison officer Sureshinee Govender, following reports that the KZN department is among four provinces set to lose housing grants.

“The grant that is spoken of is the conditional grant from the national department … intended to provide municipalities with funds to implement housing projects. Therefore the ability to spend these funds relies on municipalities to consume them...” Govender said.

Govender also denied that the department underspent in the 2010/2011 financial year as it is not yet over, “therefore an under-spending has not been declared.”

Regarding the monthly targets for building low-cost housing, she said their target for 2010/2011 year, which ends on March 1, is 16 596 houses and from April 2010 to December 2010, 15 574 houses were built, constituting 94% of their target.

She said delivery of houses in the province were impeded by various challenges, including delays in planning approval process, time taken to resolve land issues, poor performance of some implementing agents, general lack of capacity within municipalities and delays in obtaining records of decision from environmental authorities.

Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale will release figures on how much will be forfeited by each of the four affected provinces today. The ANC youth league in KZN has appealed to Premier Zweli Mkhize “to intervene” before the province loses its money. — Sapa.

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