GAUTENG’s Department of Human Settlements has unveiled plans to build over 300 000 houses by 2019/2020 through its Mega Projects plan.
MEC Paul Mashatile made the announcement during his department’s budget vote in the legislature on Thursday, indicating that at least 31 projects were ready to kick off.
“These 31 projects are expected to yield more than 300 0000 houses when completed. Our department will continue to lead, co-ordinate and oversee the development of Mega Projects while the Gauteng Partnership Fund in collaboration with the Housing Development Agency will be responsible for ensuring and managing implementation thereof,” he said.
Mashatile said the Mega Projects would have two key features. One is that they are purposefully planned and developed to provide for the housing, social amenities and economic opportunity needs of communities. Second is that they will provide mixed housing typologies and security of tenure.
“These features reinforce the key socio-economic transformation principles and considerations of the Gauteng Provincial Government. Some of these principles and considerations are radical spatial reconfiguration, township economy revitalisation, urban renewal, inclusive and sustainable growth and development and massive infrastructure investment. The result will be transforming the province into a world class Gauteng City Region in addition to ensuring that everyone’s constitutional right to have access to adequate housing is met,” he said.
Mashatile added that the projects would have many spinoffs, with the main one being job creation for the communities.
Small Micro and Medium Enterprises would also benefit as the contractors have been instructed to procure goods and services from them.
“The developmental elements included in the implementation of Mega Projects are community engagement; the creation of short, medium and long- term jobs; the growth and sustainability of SMMEs involved in the construction sector, and the advancement of the Province’s Green Agenda. In terms of this, I have issued a directive that a minimum of 10% of all our human settlement projects must use Alternative Building Technologies and we are at an advanced stage of implementing this directive. We are currently responding to key elements that must be addressed to ensure successful implementation of our Mega Projects,” Mashatile said.
The department will also work towards providing land for people who can afford to build houses for themselves.
Mashatile said they were engaging with the Department of Infrastructure Development, which is the custodian of state-owned land assets, to avail land for people to build.
“In my regular engagements with our people on their human settlement needs and how best we can respond to these needs, it has become apparent to me our people are not just looking for handouts from the government and that they are more than willing to partner with us and actively participate in building their own houses,” he said.
“I have introduced a new programme that will facilitate and support some of our people to build their own houses on identified pieces of land. Our support for such owner built houses will take the form of providing all the bulk infrastructure required for basic services on the identified land, and the processing of the title deeds. We will also facilitate access to land identified by people wanting to build their own homes.”