Minister Madikizela and Councillor Sonnenberg Inspected Emergency Housing Kits | Western Cape Government


Minister Madikizela and Councillor Sonnenberg Inspected Emergency Housing Kits

24 August 2011

Western Cape Human Settlements Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela, and City of Cape Town Human Settlements MAYCO Member Councillor, Ernest Sonnenberg, inspected the emergency housing kits in Ndabeni this morning.

The Department of Human Settlements has approved an extra R10 million in funding to provide fire and flood kits. The money is supplied to the City of Cape Town, who buys the kits and makes them available to those in need of emergency housing.

Minister Madikizela said, "The Department is caught between a rock and a hard place when providing emergency kits, as the Department would like to provide better materials but is limited by resources. It is the right thing to do for the leaders to make sure everything is in order. The Department of Human Settlements has a strategic objective to ensure accelerated housing delivery for all, and that includes emergency housing."

A fire kit, which consists of wooden poles, nails, roofing and rubber lining, is an emergency solution for people to get a roof over their heads.

People who lose their houses due to floods or fire beyond their control and are left destitute require emergency assistance, and sometimes relocation. Most of those assisted are from informal settlements in the City of Cape Town.

An amount of R10 million was allocated from December 2009 to July 2011. A total of 4 277 families were assisted during the last financial year - 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011 - with 1 657 flood kits and 2 620 fire kits provided at a cost of just over R4 million. The amount has been increased by another R10 million until April 2012.

The supplies have been housed in a central warehouse in Ndabeni since June of 2010. Before that, the supplies were housed in different warehouses in different locations, which caused logistical problems.

The Emergency Housing Programme came about due to problems highlighted through the Irene Grootboom Constitutional Court case, which stated that the various organs of state did not have a programme to help the most destitute and vulnerable in realising their right to access to housing.

Since the initial approval by the Provincial Department of Housing in 2004, various fund extensions have been granted with the intention of providing victims of floods and fire disasters with interim relief in the form of fire or flood kits and relocation assistance.

On a Provincial level, a similar strategy or mechanism is also used for all municipalities outside the City of Cape Town Metropole to aid victims of fires and flood. An amount of R5 million has been approved and is shared between the municipalities based on the need within the respective municipal areas.

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