Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has revealed that government has provided shelter to over 20 million South Africans.
Relating this information during her department’s budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday‚ Sisulu asserted that since 1994‚ the government had provided 4.3 million houses and subsidies.
She said, “These consisted of 2.8 million completed houses‚ 986‚000 serviced sites‚ and 121‚000 social housing units. It also included more than 360‚000 households who had taken the opportunity to acquire ownership of their previously state owned rental properties‚ 69‚000 upgraded community rental units‚ and 6‚000 finance linked subsidies.
Government was estimated to have spent over R500 billion for top structures‚ bulk services‚ social and economic amenities to achieve this. We want to say to all South Africans‚ we did it‚ we are a miracle‚ and our celebrations will also take place in all provinces‚ despite the work that faces us ahead‚ which we are ready for‚ we need to celebrate the miracle we have achieved.”
Sisulu also added that government will progressively formalise informal settlements by providing basic services to restore dignity to people. She added that more than 100 housing projects around the country have been selected to be “mega projects”, worth a combined total of more than R300b.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu further remarked that of the 101 catalytic or mega projects, 94 would be ready for implementation as soon as the paperwork was completed. According to her “Mega housing projects are aimed at fast tracking delivery and accelerating change in apartheid special planning.”
The names of the projects and developers would be announced on Monday, May 9. Military veterans were not also left out in her agenda as her the department had secured 5 600 houses for military veterans. She also apologised to the military veterans for the time it had taken to complete the process. She boasted about the government’s development in Cosmos City, stating that 200 000 people lived in security and comfort in the area.
Opposition Groups React To Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s Claims
But while Sisulu bumped out more promises, DA MP, Makashule Gana, accused her of making promises she could not keep.
Gana said, “Since your return to the ministry you have made a lot of promises that unfortunately have not been met by any serious action. In July of 2014 you promised to have a credible housing demand database that would help municipalities in the allocation of State subsidised houses.
You had promised that it would be done within 12 months. It is now two years, we still do not have a credible database that can be trusted by everyone.”
Also, EFF MP Godrich Gardee countered her budget, asserting that Sisulu’s budget did not in any way reflect the needs of the people.
“People in Nyanga, Khayelitsha, still live in abject poverty, we are saying our people deserve better,” he said.