Housing brings dignity: Zille

2012-03-19 16:16

Johannesburg - Adequate housing is a key requirement for a sense of dignity, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Monday.

"One cannot live a life one values if your shelter leaks when it rains, is vulnerable to structural collapse or is not safe or secure," she said in a speech prepared for delivery at a Western Cape youth in human settlements summit.

Zille said the state did not have enough money to provide a house to everyone who needed one.

"This is the hard truth of the matter. At the same time, the state cannot simply say: 'We'll help who we can within our limited budget and too bad for the rest of you'.

"This is why housing policy has changed in South Africa from the well-meaning, yet unattainable goal of a self-standing house for every family that couldn't afford it, to the approach of providing a range of housing opportunity choices."

As a result, the government could now do "a little for the many" instead of "a lot for the few".

Zille said with youth unemployment in South Africa at an estimated 51%, it was crucial that every effort be made to equip them with the knowledge and tools to compete in the job market, as well as to support young entrepreneurs.

"In this way, the youth can have a fighting chance to build and live lives they value, if they take advantage of those opportunities and exercise their responsibility as citizens."

The provincial summit followed a national meeting in Durban in July 2011, at which all provincial governments were tasked with hosting similar provincial events.

  • John - 2012-03-19 16:25

    Its comforting to hear a politician speak sense every so often.

      Jarryd - 2012-03-19 21:22

      Agreed BUT while Zille is frank about financial issues from her/governments side, I think she, and other politicians are often silent of the major issue: Stop having so many babies to the extent you need XYZ more houses. Stop mkaing more and more humans. Solve this and we could lower the amount of people without houses, improve education delivery, reduce the unemployment rate...blah blah blah. Lets catch up on the people that aren't being properly served. No need to make more lives that will just be born to spend a life enslaved to poverty

  • Pythagoras - 2012-03-19 16:27

    If the ANC was not so rife with corruption, those billions of rands wasted and stolen could have provided A LOT of people with homes by now! I can't understand why people still don't vote for this woman!

      NrGx - 2012-03-19 17:00

      unfortunately that is an easy answer...pigmentation! Perhaps one can delve further into the psyche of the typical anc voter ..... ....... ...... no I guess one cant! its just plain and simple racism.

      Art - 2012-03-19 21:20

      If only the ANC spent that R65 billion, spent on the Arms Deal... or the R31 billion, spent on White Elephant Soccer Stadiums, or stolen the R3,6 Trillion over the past 18 years, and INVESTED that in HUMAN SETTLEMENT/IMPROVEMENT.. SOCIAL UPLIFTMENT etc... Imagine the POSSIBILITIES that COULD HAVE BE ACHIEVED!!!!!!! But... SADLY nothing was done... they need them stupid and begging ... after all it is "VOTES IN THE BANK", for the ANC

  • Rob - 2012-03-19 16:58

    Housing & smaller families Helen.

  • ThandaMzansi - 2012-03-19 17:07

    Work brings dignity too - and it's closely tied with housing and economic freedom too. Mrs. Zille, please make sure you hammer the job creation message home - the more we spend on businesses that can create jobs, the more everything else will fall into place.

      Roger - 2012-03-19 18:43

      Thanda I agree wholeheartedly.Instead of promising a better life for all through handouts we should honour work-honest work.This country can be great when we all get to work to build a better life and a better country.The tragedy is that many of our political and union leaders have brought work into disrepute. You either make money through cronyism or bribes,or you strike for more pay,sometimes violently,without consequence.I truly believe that we can change this country together when we bring about a shift-a sea change-in attitude towards work. South Africans are proud.Let us be proud to work instead of being grant recipients.If the Koreans can do it, surely we can? Why do we find immigrants doing all the work in our country when we have so many able bodied citizens?Of course we have to match up the required skills with what the economy needs and THAT is what government should be focusing on.But we have learned that we cannot depend or rely on government alone-sometimes not at all, unfortunately. The solution:hard work AND an on-the-ground accord between workers, business owners and government. We need worker leaders who are willing to admit that the union leaders have duped the workers and are manipulating them for their own socialist agendas-and bank balances. Business owners, workers and a government that is there to serve the people. Utopian? Well maybe. There are countries that have got it right. And we have already shown that we can create miracles.So why not?

  • Carlton Bana - 2012-03-19 17:49

    Jobs also bring dignity, the youth subsidy would do wonders, smaller families, tighten alcohol remove taverns from suburbs and townships (most people drink their wages away, and then strike when they cant pay bills) not everyone can be a doctor( public doctors shouldnt be taxed) a big multi-cooperation manager, create jobs in the army, police, teacher( dont tax public school teachers). Ma'am I know your party can. Like Helen Zilles page or follow her twitter so to tell her what we want as voters.

  • david.lebethe - 2012-03-19 18:03

    Like a typical liberal, Zille speaks in fork tongues. In her mind, government can no longer afford to provide housing for the poor. In essence, it means people must not cherish any hope for housing either now or in the future. This comes about at the backdrop of corruption and maladministration by most government departments and officials. And the rate at which corruption is being committed, it means there is enough money to provide housing for our people. While the constitution enjoins the government to provide housing for its subject, the statement seems to agitate for amendment of the constitution.

      Wendy - 2012-03-19 18:30

      No, David, I don't think she is speaking with a forked tongue. She is repeatedly speaking against the (ANC) corruption you mention, which, from what I've read, amounted to about R26 billion rand last year. That could have provided about 350,000 RDP houses. Multiply that by the number of people that would live in those houses, and you put 1.5 to 2 million people in homes. The people who are hurt the most by the ANC, are the poorest.

  • An observer - 2012-03-19 23:07

    Realism is what we have to deal with. There is actually no housing crisis. There is an economic crisis. The economic crisis leads to a housing crisis. This country's economy (GDP)has not exceeded its population growth since 1984. Until an economic policy is implemented whereby the population growth rate is exceeded by its GDP, there will always be a housing crisis. I am not advocating reducing the population growth rate. Rather I advocate an economic policy that supports a GDP rate higher than the population growth rate.

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