Friday, June 7, 2013

Housing backlog affects millions - Sexwale

The government housing backlog stands at 2.1 million units, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Friday.

He told The New Age breakfast that the 2.1 million housing units affected over eight million people.

Government wanted to remove the backlog by 2030. Currently, the government had set a target of building 200 000 housing units a year.

Sexwale said government was buying buildings in cities and land belonging to state-owned entities to provide housing for people near where they worked.

The government had turned the corner in providing good quality houses for people, and at the same time was still spending money to repair the old RDP houses.

“We should admit... we started on a wrong foot. These RDP houses that people are saying are falling (down), not a good job was done there.”

Sexwale said some of the houses were being demolished while some were being repaired.

There were also complaints that people waited too long to receive houses.

This was mainly caused by corruption in the allocation system.

As to how long a person should wait before getting a house, Sexwale said: “It takes quite some time depending where you are on the list. On average it should not be that long, within three to four years.”

On provision of sanitation, Sexwale said the problem was that other spheres of government failed to spend money.

“The danger here is that sometimes we deploy people that don’t have proper skills and they in turn employ people who have got no expertise.” 

- Sapa

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