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New master plan to redesign SA housing

“We will embark on and lay the basis for a Spatial Master Plan for Human Settlements in line with the NDP, as we seek to redesign our cities and deal with apartheid spatial planning.”

The Minister also said as part of the department’s goals over the next five years, a target of 1.5 million housing opportunities had been set with an aim of eradicating a housing backlog that has left many on the housing waiting list.

Minister Sisulu said the Master Plan was also government’s response to a recent release by Stats SA, which found that some human settlements projects were still being built under the old apartheid spatial plan where houses were built away from such amenities.

The minister was briefing journalists at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament, ahead of delivering her Budget Vote speech at the Old Assembly Chambers, last week.

She said the plan was also in line with what was envisaged by the National Development Plan (NDP).

“We will embark on and lay the basis for a Spatial Master Plan for Human Settlements in line with the NDP, as we seek to redesign our cities and deal with apartheid spatial planning,” she said.

She said her department will soon host a National Human Settlements Indaba to forge partnerships with key stakeholders with the aim of fast-tracking the delivery of houses.

“The budget vote we are about to deliver is designed as an intervention in the sector towards the building of 1.5 million houses in partnership with the private sector, all stakeholders and the communities over the next five years.

“We believe building houses must be a catalyst for development and job creation. South Africa is about to become the biggest construction site in Africa and most probably in the developing world.

“We will build close to 270 000 houses annually as a sector.

“It looks possible, but we have been here before. At the height of implementing the Breaking New Ground policy we were building 270 000 houses per year,” she said.

“Mega” projects hit all provinces

The Minister said her department would identify 50 national priority projects across the country that would deliver mega integrated and sustainable human settlements.

These mega projects, she said, would comprise of Breaking New Ground houses (30%), Gap houses (20%), rental accommodation (20%), social housing (10%) and service sites (20%).

She said in a bid to empower young people, a youth brigade would be created in each province and assigned to catalytic projects.

All these houses would be closer to economic and social amenities.

She said plans to empower youth and women were also on the cards.

“The National Homebuilders Registration Council (NHBRC) will establish and officially open a Training Academy in partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

“This will focus on up-skilling 100 women and the youth. In our discussions with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), they committed to train young, black candidate Estate Agents to revitalise the industry,” she said.

She also said in line with the announcement by President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address, her department had also set aside resources to fulfil the goal of revitalising mining communities through the provision of decent housing. – SAnews.gov.za

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