Western Cape Human Settlements engaged Cape Winelands District
Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says last week’s engagements with the Witzenberg, Langeberg, Drakenstein and Stellenbosch municipalities presented his department with the opportunity to provide insight into why his Department’s budget of more than R 2,35 billion for the 2021/22 financial year will empower the people of this province.
During these visits and accompanied by his senior executive officials, where they met with full Councils, Minister Simmers highlighted the strategic priority areas of the Department. The primary focus is on creating opportunities in the affordable housing market, as more than 70% of the province’s citizens are employed and would in all likelihood not qualify for a free fully subsidised housing opportunity. This is so as their household income could be between R 3 501 – R 22 000.
These affordable housing opportunities include the Non-Credit Linked, Credit Linked and Finance Linked Individual Subsidies (FLISP). It also includes the Credit Readiness Programme, which is linked to FLISP to assist those currently seeking to acquire a property but would first need to improve their impaired credit record.
Human settlements projects would continue offering Breaking New Ground (BNG/free housing units for those earning between R 0 – 3 500 per month, but the elderly, people living with certified disabilities, those 15 years and longer on the Western Cape Housing Demand Database (WCHDD) and backyard dwellers will be prioritised.
Furthermore, the new Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG), which amounts to just over R 457 million for the entire province, is a people-centred and partnership-based approach to support informal settlement residents across the Western Cape. It will ensure that more than 74 000 households in various informal settlements across the province will experience an improvement in their area.
This programme will be implemented in Khayamandi and Franschoek Langrug, both located in the Stellenbosch municipality. In Witzenberg, it’ll be implemented in Nduli, Ceres and Chris Hani in Tulbagh. Drakenstein will have it rolled out in Chester Williams, Paarl Dignified Informal Settlements and Schoongezicht. Langeberg will have it implemented in Mandela Square, Montagu and Boekenhoutskloof in Bonnievale.
Minister Simmers said: “I am happy that we could engage municipalities and explain our new refocused areas, which they fully support, as there are multiple benefits to them as the local authority. I thank the various councils for their robust engagements. I remain committed to working hand-in-hand with the local authority, as they are a critical and strategic partner in the delivery of housing opportunities. I’m also looking forward to engaging the Breede Valley municipality in due course.”
The engagements were further used to once again inform municipalities of their combined Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG) and ISUPG allocations for the 21/22 financial year. The allocations are as follows:
- Langeberg - R 2 million(as their focus is on the upgrading of informal settlements)
- Witzenberg - R 26, 8 million
- Drakenstein - R 78 million
- Stellenbosch - R 51, 4 million
- Breede Valley - R 111, 3 million
Simmers added: “It was also pleasing to report back to municipalities that the fund we proposed previously, and now known as the Western Cape Asset Finance Reserve for Human Settlements, is finally a reality. This reserve has been created for human settlements to augment the insufficient Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) allocations in municipalities, as well as assist municipalities to unlock the value of strategic assets including land and buildings.
It will also assist with job creation initiatives, including developing business/industrial hubs and many other initiatives. As part of the broader criteria to access the fund, municipalities should focus on creating affordable housing opportunities.
We will continue to engage municipalities and stakeholders in other parts of the province. As the Western Cape Government, we remain committed to accelerating human settlement delivery, while promoting social inclusion through the development of integrated, resilient, safe and sustainable human settlements in an open opportunity society.”