Human Settlement department announced on Thursday that it would launch the Human Settlements Development Bank in Cape Town on Friday.
This development was brought to light by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in Parliament during a media briefing on her department’s upcoming budget vote debate.
Sisulu buttressed that details of the bank, including its name, would be unveiled during the launching on Friday.
The bank is said to have consolidated the three Development Finance Institutions (DFI) from her department and is expected to fully start operation once the Human Settlements Development Bank Bill‚ which is currently in its fifth draft‚ is passed by Parliament.
The minister said the passing of the bill is expected not to last longer than September, adding that the main target of the bank will be to set up the increased provision of finance across the human settlements value chain.
She added: “It would also provide finance to emerging black entrants into the property sector‚ and would scale up delivery of the finance-linked individual subsidy (FLISP).
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that this subsidy targets first time home owners earning below R15‚000 per month.
Weighing in, Director General Mbulelo Tshangana said the departmental bank won’t be competing with private banks but will engage and create avenues for some private banks to partner with them.
He disclosed that those wishing to claim a loan from the bank for a title deed must have a family household of R240 000 income per year or less.
“We fund end users, we fund developers, we fund projects. It’s a wide range of products and services and we will also be helping government entities that don’t have a capacity. It’s not your typical commercial bank; it’s a fully-fledged DFI,” Tshangana added.
During the briefing, the department also announced the appointment of Themba Mthethwa as the Human Settlements Ombudsman.
Mthethwa is saddled with the responsibility dealing with issues between contractors, provinces and municipalities.
The new Ombudsman had worked previously in the office of the Public Protector as a Cheif Executive Officer (CEO).
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Minister Sisulu said one of her priorities is to clear the title deeds backlog by the end of the current administration in 2019.
She has been fingered as a prospective contender for the ANC presidential seat. Although Zuma’s ex-wife Nkosazana is seen as a top frontrunner (together with Cyril Ramaphosa), Sisulu is seen as a threat because of her outspokenness and a clean record.