Western Cape Adjustments Appropriation Bill – Vote 8
10 December 2021
Venue: Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) – Virtual on MS Teams
Honourable Cabinet Members
Honoured Guests and
It is Albert Einstein who said: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
As a service delivery component of the Western Cape Government, we make a tangible difference in the lives of so many people across the entire province. In fact, since this administration commenced in 2019, 29 083 residents have been assisted with a housing opportunity. These residents and their loved ones now live in a safer and improved environment. There has been a complete turnaround in their living conditions. The change is real.
And the homes go along with empowerment and enabling technology. I had the pleasure in November to hand over 70 certificates to emerging contractors who were part of the Contractor Technical Skills Training Programme (CTSTP) in the Overstrand Municipal area.
The 36th US president, Lyndon B. Johnson, famously said that not only must we open the doors of opportunity, we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.
It was in Vredendal, just over a week ago where I had the privilege to hand over houses to elderly beneficiaries. One of the beneficiaries, 66-year-old Ms Susanna van der Westhuizen who’s been on the Housing Demand Database for 28 years, said: “I’m so happy today and I thank God for making this day possible. I have my house now. It’s been very long, but I never gave up hope. I’d like to encourage others to also be patient because their opportunity will come.”
Haar hoop het haar deur gedra. Sy sê die wag was baie lank, maar dit was die moeite werd. Ek moet byvoeg, soos sy haar deur oop sluit, skiet sy by die deur in en
begin toe onmiddelik te bid uit dankbaarheid vir haar huis. Sy was gevul met emosie, omdat sy verlig is wetend dat sy nie weer in ‘n informele struktuur hoef te woon nie. Haar waardigheid as mens is herstel.
Further to the creation and delivery of housing opportunities and during the same period, we’ve ensured that 15 144 residents could become legal and fully-fledged homeowners for the first time in their lives. This is a privilege so many of those before us never had. Finally, these residents are now also outright owners of their properties. So while others, such as the EFF and the ANC seek to disown our people through expropriation without compensation, we’re saying, NO, let us empower our people, particularly since ownership is true empowerment. It is through mechanisms such as these that we restore our people’s dignity.
Just as the ANC failed to obtain the majority in parliament this past week, let us at every opportunity continue to reject even the smallest inkling of expropriation without compensation. The ANC has done enough harm to our country, in fact bleeding it dry. Just as they’ve done this, so to do they want to deny you and I ownership of our properties.
As the Western Cape Government, we’re only seeking to empower our people and not steal from them. Our aim is to uplift them and ensure a brighter and better future.
Please don’t take my word for it. Earlier this year we were in Khayelitsha to hand over title deeds, and 55-year-old Ms Buyiswa Sondobo, who was one of the beneficiaries said: “I am truly thankful to the Western Cape Government for restoring my dignity and for ensuring that this house is now fully mine. It is unfortunate that my husband has passed on and is not able to share in this moment. At least I know he’s smiling down on us. This house is ours and cannot be taken away from us. This has been a long time coming and I thought it would not happen. Now I can leave a lasting legacy behind for my children and grandchildren.”
Uit die mond van die inwoners sê hulle verder, omdat julle duidelik wys hoe ons vir julle ‘n prioriteit is, deur ons lewens op hierdie wyse te verander en te verbeter, gee dit ons nuwe hoop en moed, wetend dat daar wel ‘n regering is wat vir ons omgee. Hierdie Wes-Kaapse regering werk vir ons en dien ons, soos ‘n regering na sy landsburgers moet omsien. Nie ‘n regering wat hulle om elke hoek en draai sy eie mense wil belieg en besteel nie.
We’ve made the commitment to continue working for our people – to ensure they have access to a housing opportunity and also ownership through a title deed. Even though the national government decided to stop the Title Deed Restoration Grant, this will not prevent us from continuing to handover title deeds to residents across the Western Cape. For the current financial year, 8 110 recipients can expect to become full homeowners.
Die geleentheid om ons mense te dien, wetend dat ons ‘n tasbare verskil in hulle lewens maak, dien as motivering om voort te gaan en meer vir veral ons kwesbaarste inwoners te doen. Dit is deel van die redes waarom ons op ons bejaardes, persone wat met ‘n medies gesertifiseerde gestremdheid leef, persone wat nou al 15 jaar en langer op die behuisings waglys is en agterplaas bewoners, en in landelike gebiede plaas bewoners, fokus. We will never apologise for adopting this stance, as it is these residents that require our assistance.
Speaker, it is further vital that we directly address our people’s needs according to our context. It’s a fact that the Western Cape has the highest employment rate. More than 70% of the people living in this province are employed. Of course, these are different forms of employment. Given this fact, it is also true that many residents would not qualify for a fully state subsidised house, as their household income would likely exceed the R 3 500 threshold.
Given the conducive and inviting environment that this government has created, it is not surprising that businesses across the country and those beyond our borders choose to invest in this province. People are aware that the benefits are endless, and this is also part of the reason why so many move here to make this their home.
Hierdie bring menigte uitdagings, veral omdat die nasionale regering nie die nodige befondsing die kant toe skuif nie. Dit plaas ook geweldige druk op die plaaslike infrastruktuur en openbare fasiliteite, omdat baie meer mense nou daarvan gebruik maak. Steeds deur hierdie en ander uitdagings wys ons egter dat die Wes-Kaap die vermoë, kundigheid en visie het om dinge vir sy mense gedoen te kry. Uit alle weë sien burgers regoor die land dat die Wes-Kaap strategieë en planne in plek sit, sodat persone se lewensgehalte baie beter kan wees.
This is also true for those who are in what is commonly known as the GAP market, where programmes such as social housing and other rental opportunities, along with the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) play such a critical role, so that they can access affordable housing opportunities. FLISP has proven to be a favourite amongst residents across the Western Cape. Between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years, a combined 3 811 applications were received, and a total of 2 935 households successfully accessed FLISP. The few that are rejected, are usually based on the misrepresentation of marital status or regime, income and or previous property ownership.
A young couple, 30-year-old Justin and his 25-year-old wife, Sammy-Joe Williams, who with the assistance of FLISP acquired a house in the Conifers project said the following: “We’re are tremendously grateful for FLISP, as not only has it helped us to acquire a property, but because there’s a reduction in the bond repayment, we can do a bit more with the extra cash on hand. We are excited about our home and cannot wait to fully settle in the area. We encourage others to also apply for FLISP as it makes a big difference.”
Having engaged an array of communities throughout the length and breadth of the province, many expressed their concern that those who earn too much for a fully state subsidised home, or too little to qualify for a bond are missing out on a housing opportunity and that is why we are also focusing on the possible de-linking of FLISP as a mortgage option only. In this year alone I have approved 3 deviation applications as we await the national department to approve the amended FLISP policy.
As a caring government, you listen to your people. Unlike others, we learn from our yesterday’s, take those experiences and amend our plans, models and strategies accordingly, so that it addresses the current reality. We’re not ostriches where our heads are stuck in the ground, instead, we adapt where it is required.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow.”
Ons het ons strategie ietwat aangepas, om te verseker dat meer geleenthede binne die bekostigbare behuisings mark geskep word. Ons wou verseker dat meer inwoners die geleentheid gebied word om ook ‘n huis te koop.
Houses. Homes. Ownership. Dignity. Security. Jobs. Skills development. Real hope. Rational expectation of improved living through real opportunity in deed, not in word.
Speaker, this brings me to the budget, where we have an upward adjustment of just over R 57 million. This means our overall budget increases from R 2, 353 billion to R 2, 410 billion.
This adjustment will assist us to continue serving our people in a manner that will address our context.
These funds are being allocated as follows: R 8million will be used as security cost to protect a particular property against further invasions. This is rather unfortunate, as these funds could’ve been used to unlock the creation of more housing opportunities. The funds were shifted from CapeNature and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, comprising of R 4m each.
Speaker, my Department is shifting R 500 000 to DEADP to assist municipalities in conducting housing market studies which are needed for preparation of municipal inclusionary housing policies.
The lion’s share of the additional allocation, i.e. R 49,588m will go towards one of our priorities namely Affordable Housing. This will ensure that approximately 1 000 FLISP applications can be assisted. In my 2021/22 budget speech I announced that we will re-invest in the affordable housing market by utilising funds generated through the selling of houses and sites constructed from the HSDG. This is making us less dependent on the grant in future.
R 900 000 is allocated to the Garden Route District Municipality for an affordable housing project within the George Central Business District. R 48,688m is allocated to Affordable housing projects done by the Department in the Cape Metro. In this financial year, R 40m has already been generated through the selling of units in these projects. This will again be invested in more affordable housing projects in the 2022/23 financial year.
I am also very excited to announce that the first FLISP assisted house in the Syferfontein project in George was also transferred and that the project has been oversubscribed by 300%. A clearer demonstration for the need of affordable housing opportunities you will not see.
Speaker, this is also beneficial to municipalities, as those who acquire a house also pay for services, which means there’s a steady income for the local authorities.
Speaker, ons strategie is so helder soos daglig. Dit beteken nie dat ons nou nie meer aandag gee aan die opgradering van informele nedersettings nie. Inteendeel is hierdie ook een van ons prioriteite, want deur informele nedersettings op te gradeer, verseker ons dat mense en beter en veiliger omstandighde woon. Daar is spesifiek hiervoor begroot, as the adjustment budget will also introduce the R457, 429 million reallocation of funds from the Human Settlement Development Grant (HSDG) and the re-allocation of it to the new Informal Settlement Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG).
Inwoners van hierdie provinsie, ongeag waar hulle woonagtig is moet weet dat hulle steeds op die Wes-Kaap regering kan staat maak, want ons plan is realisties, werkbaar en ons begroot daarvoor.
We are also shifting R15,5m to transfers to municipalities:
• R12,4 million for Title deeds restoration programme in the CoCT,
• R1,5 million as a final contribution to the City of Cape Town iro of the Redhill informal settlement rental agreement with the owner of the land,
• R800 000 to Saldanha Bay Municipality iro the development of their integrated housing plan,
• R600 000 to George Municipality iro the development of their integrated housing plan, and
• R200 000 to Stellenbosch Municipality to do an assessment of the housing stock that is being devolved to the municipality.
As I conclude, I’d like to inform the residents of the Western Cape that the Provincial Department of Human Settlements is committed to meeting their needs and therefore we’re focused on and zooming into the affordable housing market. This will ensure greater access to a housing opportunity.
At this juncture, I’d like to thank the Acting HOD, Ms Phila Mayisela, along with her executive, all senior and middle managers, as well as the entire staff component, who is the machinery behind what we do. Let’s continue to show the drive and commitment to assist our residents in this province, as it is through your hands that we’re able to completely change people’s lives for the better.
I refer once more to LBJ: “If government is to serve any purpose it is to do for others what they are unable to do for themselves.”
The future holds little hope for any government where the present holds no hope for the people. Hope we must provide. Hope we shall provide. Hope we shall realise for people in need of hope. Real promise. Real hope. Bricks and mortar delivery. Not words.
It is joyful and rewarding to be able to do work that really delivers on promise. At Human Settlements our commitment is based on delivery: We commit to continue to deliver houses and homes. Whatever opens opportunity and hope will help to prevent crime and to foster responsibility. At Human Settlements we commit to better living. At Human Settlements we deliver better living. It is, I feel, the only reason to be in politics.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all members of this House, my HOM and office staff, the administration and all present, a blessed and joyous festive season. Please be safe, take care and get vaccinated if you haven’t done so yet.
We’ll see each other in 2022.
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers
Tel: 021 483 3397
Mobile: 082 721 3362
Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations
Tell: 021 483 2868
Mobile: 083 2631720