Eastern Cape pledges R69bn to upgrade informal settlements and build new houses

Beneficiary Nkosinathi Ntenda (second right) received an RDP house from Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Nonkqubela Pieters (second left), Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks (right), and Sarah Baartman Speaker, Mzimkhulu Njadayi, on Saturday.       Photo:SUPPLIED
Beneficiary Nkosinathi Ntenda (second right) received an RDP house from Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Nonkqubela Pieters (second left), Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks (right), and Sarah Baartman Speaker, Mzimkhulu Njadayi, on Saturday. Photo:SUPPLIED
  • Eastern Cape housing beneficiaries are still without houses after more than 20 years.
  • The province has allocated R69 million to upgrade 20 informal settlements in the region.
  • R1.5 billion has been allocated to build 8 000 houses across the province.

One of the Eastern Cape's poorest regions has had 8 538 beneficiaries waiting for houses since 1998, and 77% of them are now over the age of 40.

To address the housing needs, the Eastern Cape government is now throwing billions at upgrading informal settlements and building new houses.

Human Settlements MEC Nonkqubela Pieters presented these plans during a virtual sitting of Parliament's Human Settlement Committee on Friday.

Special attention has been given to the OR Tambo District Municipality, where the government's district development model is being implemented.

More houses

Human settlements department chief director Suresh Galahitiyawa said plans were afoot to build more houses, adding the government would intervene to ensure the backlog was reduced.

"There are 8 538 beneficiaries waiting for houses since 1998. The department has embarked on a rigorous evaluation of approved beneficiaries. A review and reprioritisation of its approved beneficiaries [is underway] to ensure that it responds rapidly and consistently to the plight of the destitute and vulnerable," he added. 

There are currently 45 projects out of a total of 115 active ones in the municipality aligned to the district development model.

"There are plans in place to ensure 100% compliance before year-end," Galahitiyawa said.

READ | SA scrambles to finalise housing plan for populated areas: 'You can't put a cost on human lives'

In 2016, the municipality had a population 1.46 million after a growth of 6.7% between 2011 and 2016.

The latest 2019 mid-year estimate shows the district has a population of 1.5 million.

"Of the 314 079 households in the ORT District, 54% were traditional, almost double the province's rate which was 26%. Only 6.3% of households in OR Tambo were RDP/government subsidised dwellings, of these 65.3% were rated as good or average and 34.7% were rated as poor," Galahitiyawa said.

The province has allocated R69 million to upgrade 20 informal settlements in the region.

Funds not used

At a cost of R1.5 billion, the provincial government plans to make 4 181 sites available and deliver more than 8 000 units across the province.

There are also plans to hand over 5 000 new title deeds to beneficiaries.

On the issue of title deeds, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete said money was not a problem but lamented some provinces were not using the funds allocated to them.

Department head Tabisa Poswa said R270 million have been prioritised for informal settlements.

"We have got priority housing developments. It will be integrated housing developments. For informal settlements, there will be upgrades in various regions of the province," she added.

On the province's water backlog, officials told the committee about R101 billion were needed to provide decent water and sanitation to all households.

Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
South Africa has over 150 000 Covid-19 cases. Do you know someone who has been infected?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes I do
27% - 3860 votes
Yes, more than one person
24% - 3513 votes
No I don't
49% - 7019 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
17.00
(-0.09)
ZAR/GBP
21.24
(-0.12)
ZAR/EUR
19.14
(-0.13)
ZAR/AUD
11.81
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.20)
Gold
1774.74
(+0.03)
Silver
18.05
(+0.01)
Platinum
808.00
(+0.25)
Brent Crude
42.78
(-0.79)
Palladium
1914.01
(+0.62)
All Share
54521.90
(-0.17)
Top 40
50179.89
(-0.26)
Financial 15
10150.02
(-0.64)
Industrial 25
76554.73
(+0.52)
Resource 10
50138.02
(-1.24)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo