Creative Partnerships for Sustainable Human Settlements | Western Cape Government


Creative Partnerships for Sustainable Human Settlements

9 September 2011

I am very excited by the partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Property 24. At the Department of Human Settlements, we have a core mission to create integrated and sustainable communities. We deliver houses, basic services and serviced sites and, through this, we enable sustainable communities to develop.

To deliver houses requires partnership between many government departments and private contractors, and it also requires us to work together with the communities, listening to and considering their concerns, and engaging people, both backyarders and informal resident dwellers, living in an area. Successful housing delivery depends on bringing people together.

The complex demands of housing delivery require creative, novel solutions. The Clicks for Bricks programme and the building of Zodwa's house have bought together the online information community, who use Facebook, the business community, through Property24, the volunteer and NGO community, through Habitat for Humanity, and some of the people of Mfuleni. Just as the Department of Human Settlements works together with many stakeholders to deliver houses, the people building Zodwa's house have come from many different communities to work together.

In the building of the house, new relationships have been formed, barriers dissolved and volunteers have worked together to give of their time and labour to add to the house. My vision for housing in South Africa is that people will find ways to come together to help us solve the housing demand and deliver houses quickly for the people who need them.

Habitat for Humanity has already provided over 3 000 houses to South Africans, and I applaud them for this. Government can lead the way in housing delivery but we can't do it all, and there is much we can learn from Habitat for Humanity and perhaps even partner with them.

It is exactly through creative partnerships of people coming together that South Africans will solve both the physical challenges of housing and services demands and the social challenges of bringing people together to form real healthy relationships and drop the inner barriers. I hope we can see many more creative partnerships of this kind.

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Bruce Oom
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Tel: 021 483 6622