Human Settlement Seminar - BMW Pavillion Waterfront | Western Cape Government



Human Settlement Seminar - BMW Pavillion Waterfront

16 March 2005

Today National Minister of Housing Lindiwe Sisulu, Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool and Housing Minister Marius Fransman addressed the Human Settlement Seminar attended by captains in the construction industry, trade unions, finance institutions, NGOs, CBOs and representatives from tertiary institutions.

This seminar is part of a series of strategic engagements between government, the business sector, trade unions and tertiary institutions in order to work on the implementation of the Sustainable Human Settlement Programme in the Western Cape. Minister Fransman said: "It is part and parcel of the many and varied strategies to implement and operationalize our national vision of promoting non-racialism, integration of society through the development of sustainable human settlements and quality housing. This is indeed a paradigm shift from the past where people were settled along racial lines, as far as possible from the areas of economic activity and put in environments that ensures continued suffrage for both people and the environment"

Over the past 10 years urban populations have grown as a result of urbanization and natural population growth. An average population growth of 2,1% per annum has resulted in the population growth of over 2,1 million people between 1996 and 2001. The country has experienced a 30% increase in the absolute number of households where only a 10% was expected. Last year population in the country stood at 47,5 million people. The majority of the people who migrated to the urban areas are unemployed and poor and have contributed in the flourishing informal settlements.

Last year during her budget speech National Minister of Housing Lindiwe Sisulu committed herself to eradicate informal settlement in the country. In September she launched the breaking new ground plan on Sustainable Human Settlement aimed at redressing colonial and apartheid spatial planning and development through the delivery of socially economically and spatially integrated housing delivery.

The main objectives of the plan include:

  • The creation of non-racial integrated societies
  • The promotion and facilitation of affordable rental and social housing market
  • Ensuring quality living environments
  • The promotion of upgrading of informal settlements
  • The provision of community supporting facilities through housing delivery
  • Ensuring that housing delivery contributes to poverty alleviation and job creation.

Among his first steps in responding to Minister Sisulu's call for the eradication of informal settlements and the creation of non-racial integrated communities, Western Cape Minister of Housing Marius Fransman has established the Human Settlement Reference Group. This Human Settlement Reference Group made up of academics and people involved in the building industry will analyze and contextualise the Human Settlement Plan for the western Cape and advise Minister Fransman accordingly.

"As a province we have not been immune to the housing shortages experienced by the rest of the country. Recent researches have shown that we are receiving about 48 000 new people annually. Our current budget allows us to provide 38% housing units and lives us with an accumulating 62% backlog annually. This calls for a paradigm shift, a new way of doing things and taking well-planned bold steps in order for us to make a dent in the housing backlog and eradicate informal settlements. I have confidence in this Human Settlement Reference Group Reference, led by its chairperson Ms Hilda Ndude, that it will help us achieve the goals we have set up for ourselves. They will advise on the analysis and implementation of the Comprehensive Plan on Sustainable Human Settlements in the Western Cape. This plan needs to be analysed, contextualised and conceptualised within the social - economic and political environment of the Western Cape Province. This process is critical because of the unique challenges that the Western Cape faces.

"Our endeavours to better the lives of poor people will also be assisted by the increase in the housing subsidies introduced by Minister Sisulu yesterday. These new subsidy allocations will not only help the poorest of the poor but also assists some of the employed people who wanted houses but could not afforded to pay the 10% deposit required by the banks.

"I also want to welcome that Minister Sisulu has committed herself to assess the houses built between 1994 and 2002. When I took over this portfolio I visited several housing projects including Westbank and Delft where residents took me on a door- to door of badly built houses that were becoming a danger to the occupants. The question is: should we count those badly built houses as houses delivered? houses in the process of being delivered in that they must still be repaired and accepted by communities as decent human settlements?, or are they part of what we still need to deliver? I am awaiting advise on this and how we approach it henceforth.

Over the next four months I will travel far and wide in the province to inform our people about the new Western Cape Housing Plan and the increased housing subsidies.

I will visit the following areas:

  • Khayelitsha - Mandela Park Project
  • Blue Downs - Kleinvlei
  • Gugulethu
  • Atlantis - Witsands
  • Kewtown - Athlone
  • Wallacedene - Grootboom Community and Greater Wallacedene
  • Cape Town - Inner-city - Focus on housing issues related to Domestic Workers
  • Grabouw - People outside the N2 are catered for the new in housing plans and looking at migration from outside areas to Grabouw and the housing needs in the area.
  • Paarl
  • Mossel Bay
  • Saldanha - Middelpos
  • Vredendal/ Wupperthal
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