Zuma proud of 'mega' housing project in KZN

2016-06-23 17:55
President Jacob Zuma (Claudi Mailovich, Netwerk24)

President Jacob Zuma (Claudi Mailovich, Netwerk24)

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Durban – President Jacob Zuma on Thursday gave a "mega" housing project in Pietermaritzburg his stamp of approval.

Zuma visited the Vulindlela rural area to celebrate the project that has built 12 300 houses since 2012. The project aims to deliver a total of 25 000 homes by completion in 2018. 

The housing project is unique in that it is implemented by the community. Named the Vulindlela Rural Enhanced People’s Housing Process (EPHP), the project saw the community form the Vulindlela Development Association, a board that comprises amakhosi (traditional leaders) and other political leaders.

The community also forms co-operatives specialising in different aspects of construction work. Government funds the development.

Speaking to thousands of supporters at the Taylor Halt sports field, Zuma said his visit to the housing project also celebrated the delivery of more than four million houses to South Africans since the advent of democracy in 1994.

"What we are seeing here today is a community that has become what we have wanted. They have taken this mega project and made it their own. You are doing good work and you must continue to do so. You wanted houses built in a way you wanted and we as government obliged."

Zuma encouraged other communities to also take initiative.

"If we all do what these people have taken upon themselves to do, South Africa will reach all of its goals in no time."

'Deeply fulfilling'

Speaking on the specifics of the project, KwaZulu-Natal Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay told News24 that ordinary people had become skilled in manufacturing their own building blocks, doors and windows.

"When developments are at its maximum, about 2 000 people get employed. R6m in wages stays in this community. It is very empowering and impactful."

Pillay said the department was already thinking of ways to sustain developmental skills and capacity.

"We are hoping to complete in 2018, but that is budget dependent. Obviously we have to spread the budget throughout the province. We want the best for the people in this area. They have done very well."

Pillay said it was the biggest "practical" project in the province.

When asked about his feelings on the delivery of the million of houses since 1994, Pillay said it was "deeply fulfilling".

“At a human level this is quite an achievement. It is evidence of successful policy implementation. These projects are working. We hope treasury can see the social cohesion and economic benefit.” 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pietermaritzburg  |  housing  |  service delivery

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