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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
South Africa should be a building site
21 Oct 2010

The whole of South Africa can be turned into one large construction site in order to build sustainable human settlements in various localities.

This is the view of Human Settlements Minister, Tokyo Sexwale who told delegates attending the DBSA/Human Settlements conference in Midrand that the department is acquiring 6250 hectares of well-located state land to provide 600 000 new loans in the affordable housing market using the state-supported “gap fund”.

“In addition 500 000 informal settlement dwellings are being upgraded,” he said. Sexwale points out that the greatest challenge facing the country is economic growth, which needs to keep pace with the population growth.

“We need high gross domestic product growth rates in order to address mass poverty and the unacceptably high rate of unemployment,” he said. “We set a target of a growth rate of not less than 6% but right now it’s around 3,8% and that means we have a growth rate deficit,” he said.

Referring to statistics compiled by the International Monetary Fund, Sexwale said that the country needed a growth rate of 7%. “This growth challenge remains at the heart of whatever we may do in human settlements,” he said.

“There are currently 2 700 informal settlements – or slums if we give them their correct name. They are human parking lots, crammed with people hoping and praying to make it into better housing in the cities,” he said.

He went on to say that the reality is that South Africa can only clear the housing backlog at the rate of about 10% a year and this means that it will take decades to break the backlog.

He says the Department of Human Settlements has a shopping list of ideas regarding sustainability, urbanisation and spatial development but emphasised that private sector participation was essential These ideas include:

- Access, use and develop suitable land;

- The potential pitfalls of densification;

- What governance measures need to be in place for integrated, sustainable human settlements;

- Creating integrated communities that will work towards de-racialising society;

- Ways to integrate transport solutions when building new cities and towns;

- What the State’s role is in new human settlement developments. Should the government continue to give away houses or is there a better way of matching the need with the resources?

He said that the reality is that the future of human settlements depended on the people and the solutions to the many challenges being faced by his department had to be practical because this will help to shape the future of the cities and towns of South Africa.

“In crafting our vision for Human Settlements 2030, we must plan for the needs of the future adults. It is about their own homes, apartments, bachelor flats and so on, because a child born today will be 20 years old in 2030.

“These projects will contribute to economic growth and job creation and Human Settlements 2030 is a campaign for the young people and for their own future,” he added.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Gap housing projects: CT & Joburg Gap housing projects: CT & Joburg
21 Oct 2010

While Cape Town is plans to provide 199 housing rental units in Elsies River from next month, the Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale has opened the R33-million Cavendish Chambers housing project in Johannesburg’s inner city, a building reclaimed from hijackers in October last year.

The Cape Town projects, Leo Mews and Avon Gardens form part of a ‘gap’ housing project that originally intended to sell the properties at prices starting at R237k but, because there were so few sales, the homes are now available for rent.

According to Cape Town councillor Shehaam Sims, the ‘gap’ houses are aimed at households earning between R3,5k and R10k a month. “In this segment of the market, demand for affordable housing outstrips supply,” says Sims.

Avon Gardens will have 74 rental units while Leo Mews will provide 125. Both developments comprise two-bedroom apartments between 45 sq m and 66 sq m in extent. All units are fitted with solar water heaters.

The Cavendish Chambers property is a 16-storey building that was bought for R8-million last year by the Affordable Housing Company (Afhco). The hijacked building was in appalling shape and 30 large waste skips of rubbish had to be removed from the property.

Then all the windows, pipes, doors, fixtures and fittings were replaced to transform the building from offices into 187 apartments aimed at residents earning between R3,5k and R10k a month.

Rentals for the properties range from R1,6k to R3k a month and all units are tiled, have modern kitchens, DSTV aerials, VoIP phones, Internet connections and DSTV connectivity. The building has fingerprint access and 24-hour security.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joburg Housing Company wins National Housing Award for 2010


The Joburg Housing Company (JHC) has won the acclaimed National Housing Award 2010, an award that recognises organisations that have excelled in sustainable community development projects.

Makhulong A Matala was the recipient of the award at a dinner ceremony held by the Southern Africa Housing Foundation .

Makhulong is a subsidiary company of JHC which pioneers development programmes in the JHC tenant community in Berea. JHC is a non-profit social housing company focused on inner city and greater Joburg regeneration and this entails the refurbishment of old buildings and the development of new buildings for renting by lower and middle income groups.

Makhulong was recognised for its contribution to community development among JHC tenants. Within JHC, the principle of building social capital parallels financial capital, which means that asset building covers not only financial and physical assets, but also a range of human and social resources.

Makhulong provides a range of community development services within JHC tenant communities - from early childhood development to the Makhulong netball and soccer leagues. Each year Makhulong organises a variety of community events, as well as vocational training courses for tenants to learn income-generating skills and financial management. Tenant hardship assistance is available to tenants who may experience a death in the household. Counselling and social support services are also available.

It also plays a key role in the eKhaya neighbourhood renewal programme in Hillbrow. The four strategic principles that guide Makhulong's work are: empowerment, by assisting tenants to take control of their lives; universal access, by providing supporting information on and access to social services; participation, by encouraging tenants to acknowledge and exercise the opportunities they have to participate in matters that affect them; and by building civic relationships based on trust, responsibility and integrity.

The Star
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Town planners must question accepted practice


Are you sitting in your self-imposed "prison" posing as a lifestyle choice? Your gated community planned by "professionals" on the basis of satisfying customer need, that is then given priority approval by "planning" officials?

Yet this is far from the livable communities envisaged by sound planning principles.

Similarly, the continued location of the poor away from jobs and commercial activity through the "upgrade" of pre-1990 informal settlements continues the apartheid planning while professing the opposite.

Large-scale projects planned by inexperienced and unqualified planners do nothing but bring the planning profession into disrepute. Similarly, so do "cut and paste" planners regurgitating old concepts in new guises. These failed in the past and now, they frustrate the efforts of government and investors alike.

Fortunately, all is not lost, with new developments in the planning sector set to change the planning landscape forever.

Firstly, establishing the National Planning Commission is the clearest indication yet that government views proper planning (strategic spatial planning and land development/land-use regulation and management) as key to driving economic growth and addressing poverty. The South African Planning Institute (Sapi) will support the NPC in whatever way it is called.

Secondly, and most importantly, Sapi intends to "re-professionalise" planning.

Planners are a bit like fortune tellers, except they are equipped with real skills. Integral to shaping the places we live in, they are therefore key in assisting political decision-making and working closely with a range of spatial practitioners and built-environment professionals.

World Town Planning Day is celebrated in thirty countries each year on November 8 to recognise and promote the role of planning in creating livable communities, for which Sapi is responsible locally.

While recognising the statutory SA Planning Council's legal role in addressing key issues, Sapi has committed itself to supporting the council fulfil its mandate. This includes:


Registering Sapi as a voluntary association in terms of the Planning Profession Act, thus giving statutory recognition to bodies like Sapi with obvious benefits.


Being an active roleplayer in the standards-generating body that establishes the framework for planning qualifications.


Ensuring quality in planning programmes offered by institutions through involvement in the accredition process.


Involvement in the process of the "identification of planning profession work" which, for the first time in the country's planning history, will identify areas of planning work to be be reserved for registered persons.

The implications are obvious: planning work previously "poached" by non-planners charging below the fee-guideline tariff comes to an end, and only registered planners will have access to this privilege. The ultimate outcome is the re-professionalisation of planning.

To date, Sapi has gained new-found prominence through its two-yearly Planning Africa Conference which has, since 2002, grown to an attendance rate of over 560 delegates from across the globe and Africa.

In 2006, Sapi secured affiliation to the Commonwealth Association of Planners (Cap), entailing international recognition for the progress made in South Africa with regard to urban and regional planning and for the work that Sapi does - to the extent that the past president of Sapi, Christine Platt, was elected president of Cap in 2008 and re-elected in 2010.

Planning is a process which directs in advance what is to be done in the coming future based on technical analysis and public involvement. There is a particular focus on spatial planning and integration of social, economic and ecological aspects into built-environment development.

Yusuf Patel is president of the South African Planning Institute.

The Star
 

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R463m in low-cost housing grants to be moved from under-performing provinces

Tokyo Sexwale
18 January 2011

To provinces that have met their delivery targets and require additional funding.

A total of R463-million in human settlements grant funding is to be moved from two under-performing provinces to two which have met their delivery targets and require additional funding.


This was announced in Pretoria today by Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, having applied his mind in line with a decision taken by all nine provinces at a MinMEC - a statutory meeting of the Minister and the provincial MECs for human settlements -- on 19 November 2010.


A total of R263-million is to be moved from Free State, and R200-million from KwaZulu Natal. The funds will be reassigned as follows:

  • R182-million to Northern Cape, primarily for the construction of 2 070 new houses across the province, at a cost of R178-million, as well the upgrade of 350 units in informal settlements at an estimated cost of R78-million. The remainder of the funds will be used for integrated residential developments.

  • R131-million to Limpopo, primarily for the construction of 5 300 houses in 17 districts as part of the province's Rural Housing Programme.
The remaining R150-million has been allocated to the National Rectification Programme which involves repairs to badly-built houses in various provinces.
"Two provinces which were earlier in the group of four under-performers - Western Cape and Eastern Cape - remain on my watch-list and their performance will be closely monitored," Minister Sexwale said. "We still expect that, by the end of the administration's term, all provinces will by and large have met their targets.
"It is important to note that the R463-million remains in the housing delivery process, and will be used to contribute directly to addressing the housing backlog and the needs of the poor - rather than being rolled-over and/or returned to National Treasury."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Shock at R58bn bill to fix RDP houses

Disclosure that it will cost an astonishing R58 billion to fix shoddy RDP houses has caused outrage, with labour federation Cosatu calling for the heads of the culprits.

It was a "painful example of corruption, gross negligence and incompetence", said Cosatu, joining the DA's condemnation.

"The Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, must urgently rectify the problems with these houses and ensure that those responsible for this disaster are brought to book," Cosatu said.

The bill for the dud houses was revealed by the department's director-general, Thabane Zulu, at a meeting of Parliament's human settlements oversight committee on Wednesday.

Both Cosatu and the DA were outraged at his admission that the department had no way of blacklisting the contractors who had done this. Zulu acknowledged to the committee that this was a major problem and a way had to be found to do so.

"Many of them may still have contracts with the national government to build more sub-standard housing," Cosatu said.

"Heads must roll for this squandering of taxpayers' hard-earned money, especially those workers who do not own houses and will have to wait even longer for a house, thanks to this debacle."

The DA said the contractors were "directly sabotaging the lives and human dignity of millions of South Africans with utter disregard for the consequences".

It called on Sexwale to implement an effective system of monitoring and oversight of building contractors, and to ban those who failed to meet standards from earning future contracts.

The figure of R58bn was even more astonishing, the DA said, in light of Sexwale's announcement six weeks before that he had set aside R1.3bn to fix sub-standard housing this year.

"Accepting this figure, it would take the national government 40 years just to fix badly built houses."

Given that the annual housing budget was R16.3bn, it would take three-and-a-half years to fix all substandard houses if the government spent the whole allocation just on this, with no new houses being built.

The DA will be writing to the chairperson of the human settlements committee requesting that Sexwale appear urgently before it to explain why the situation has been allowed to continue for so long, and to outline a plan for effective monitoring and oversight to deal with it.

DA human settlements spokesman, Butch Steyn, said in the statement that the Zuma administration's emphasis on prioritising housing "rings hollow when we look at the statistics of… the housing backlog, which stands at an estimated 2.1 million, affecting 12 million people".

"Most recipients of these houses have been waiting many years for a house to call their own, and they do not deserve to move into houses that will, at best, have to undergo extensive renovation soon afterwards, and, at worst, may endanger their lives," Steyn said.

"Not only is the state losing approximately R58bn, but the national government will continue to waste large sums of money on this for the foreseeable future," he said.

Daily News
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sexwale unveils new rental housing project

May 12 2011 at 04:17pm



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Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale on Thursday unveiled 341 units of the Morgan’s Village III affordable housing project in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.

The project is a partnership between the national human settlements department, its Western Cape counterpart, the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) and the Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC).

The Morgan Village housing project provides affordable rental units to people earning between R1500 and R3500.

“Our priority is to ensure that we provide not only decent, but affordable rental units within the city centre in line with our mandate to ensure that people stay nearer to places of work, clinics and schools,” Sexwale told guests at the event.

The Morgan’s Village project is the second to be opened by Sexwale in the past two days, the first being in Polokwane.

He said the government was increasing the pace of providing affordable rental units within the city centres across the country, in line with its programme “to do things differently and faster”.

“Part of our objective as a department is to ensure that we increase the pace at which we construct and renovate inner city buildings.

“These houses we are opening today provide exactly that; it gives our people dignity and decent shelter at a very affordable rate,” Sexwale said.

Affordable rental units in the inner cities would also help alleviate the housing backlog in the country.

“Many of our people come to cities for work. They come from different provinces of our country, leaving their homes. What they are looking for is decent and affordable rental options, a place they can put their head down, but a decent place,” he said.

The aim was to build more than 25 000 rental units over the next three years.

Once complete, the Morgan's Village project would consists of 682 mixed development units. - Sapa
 

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Buyers love densificationThu, 19 May 2011 2:57 - iAfrica

Densification, where conventional homes on one-acre stands are being replaced with three cluster home units, is proving attractive in long-established suburbs on the northern side of Johannesburg, particularly Houghton, Saxonwold, Melrose, Dunkeld and Forest Town. Coupled with this, north-facing homes with scenic views are also in demand in these areas.

Rupert Finnemore, Pam Golding Properties Hyde Park manager, says the local municipalities are encouraging densification of Johannesburg’s older, long-established suburbs and that the approval process for the development of cluster homes to replace a single home on a large property is being fast-tracked.The Gauteng Spatial Development Framework (GSDF) and the Gauteng Spatial Development Initiatives (GSDIs) are Gauteng Provincial Government strategies for provincial development. Finnemore says that among the five critical goals of the GSDF are resource-based economic development and contained urban growth.

"One of the objectives of the GSDF is to control urban sprawl and unnecessary expansion. It encourages the compaction of Johannesburg, improved use of the city’s resources and the maintenance of its structure and form. Densification is a practical means of assisting the achievement of this objective," Finnemore adds.

The Gautrain is another element in the containment of urban sprawl. Finnemore points out that to achieve the economic growth objectives of the Gautrain project, an increase in the densities of existing suburbs adjacent to the Gautrain route is essential.

"There is a need to re-direct the urban growth in Johannesburg as the existing settlement pattern is likely to become problematic in the future. The Gautrain project was necessary as a catalyst to trigger the new, denser pattern of settlement and it will also affect the way that current and new urban areas linked to the rapid rail system will develop," says Finnemore.

The older northern suburbs of Johannesburg such as Saxonwold, Melrose, Dunkeld and Forest Town have been consistently offering quality residences and secure lifestyles with growth in value of homes year on year, all factors that are helping to attract buyers from the far northern suburbs.

Finnemore adds that traffic congestion and commuting costs are playing an increasing role in buyer decisions, particularly among those who now find commuting time is in excess of two hours. They seek to either be closer to their place of work or near to a Gautrain station.

For people living in Johannesburg and working in Pretoria, the Gautrain infrastructure, which makes these older suburbs truly world class and comparable with the best anywhere in the world, is another underlying factor that is creating demand for these properties."
 

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Ambitious new targets have been set, title deeds mess to be tackled, and new housing subsidy criteria is on the cards. Let's hope the govt gets it right this time....

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State to tackle housing title deed mess

01 Aug 2014 00:00 Lynley Donnelly

On the cards is the building of 1.5-million homes for the elderly, poor and child-headed households.

The state has created 3.7-million housing 'opportunities' since 1994. (Madelene Cronjé, M&G)

The government has set itself the ambitious target of trying to eradicate the state’s 2.3-million housing backlog in the coming years, after which it may end the provision of free state housing.

Alongside this herculean task, it also plans to eradicate the backlog in issuing title deeds to existing housing beneficiaries, to realise what Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu called “the dead assets” in people’s hands.

Research shows that more than one million RDP homeowners don’t have title deeds for their properties.

The government aims to complete 1.5-million houses in the next five years, Sisulu said before her recent budget vote speech. The provision of homes to the elderly, the indigent and child-headed households will be prioritised and the practice of having 18-year-olds on the list will be ended. This will allow the government to set a cut-off date and address the question of the sustainability of providing free housing, she said.

According to Ndivhuwo Mabaya, the spokesperson for human settlements, the state believes that the 2.1-million housing backlog in 1994 may already have been cleared and that the current 2.3-million backlog is made up of new entrants.

He said the younger, economically active people on the list could be assisted with alternative forms of social housing, such as subsidised rental accommodation, subsidised stands on which they could build, and employer-supported housing.

Housing ‘opportunities’
According to state statistics, more than 3.7-million housing “opportunities” have been delivered since 1994, which includes more than 903 000 serviced sites and more than 2.8-million housing units.

There is a substantial amount of wealth potentially available to existing housing beneficiaries but without title deeds they cannot access it. Research done by the FinMark Trust and Urban LandMark in 2011 showed that, at that time, more than one million owners of subsidised homes had no title deeds.

Mark Napier, the former programme director of Urban LandMark, who is now at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s built environment unit, said there were a number of key factors that contribute to the delays in registration.

A primary cause was the failure of developers to complete the process of township establishment, which delayed the creation of a register needed for each new neighbourhood or housing area.


The problem was aggravated by changes made to payment processes for developers. Before 2004, the bulk of subsidy payments to developers could only be made once the title deeds for beneficiaries had been registered. But this was changed, resulting in developers simply forfeiting the final, smaller payment tranches to avoid having to complete the registration of title deeds.

This fell to the municipalities and provinces, which did not have the capacity to do it once a backlog built up, Napier said.

Transfers
Although an RDP house cannot be sold for eight years, where sales have taken place informally without title deeds there is no record of the transfer or of the new owner. There is a similar problem when housing beneficiaries die and their homes are left to family members.

But, according to earlier research, the number of subsidised houses that are sold is very low – about 11% every five years. Of this, informal sales make up only 5%.

Yet the problems go beyond the registration of title deeds, Napier said. The cost of surveying, conveyancing and transfer of homes is often too expensive for poor people.

Similarly, the cost of building planning requirements when occupants extend their homes can be too high, leading to lapses in compliance.

This makes banks reluctant to issue loans against these homes and, in the short term, many people cannot unlock the financial gains that come with formally owning a home.

Higher real figure
Mabaya confirmed that more than one million homeowners, including recipients of houses before 1994, did not have title deeds, but added that the real figure could be much higher because it excluded rural areas.

He said the reason for changing the requirement that developers finalise title deed registration was that it had delayed final payments being made to small contractors and to the occupation of the houses by beneficiaries.

The department is setting up a dedicated unit to fast-track the issuing of title deeds, which will be led by the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

The department has also approaching the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa to reach rural communities.

“We have noted some progress where municipalities are working with chiefs to zone land and then give people title deeds,” Mabaya said.

Big strides
Meanwhile, projects such as the Ngwathe Land Reform Project, run by the Free Market Foundation in conjunction with several private sector partners, such as First National Bank, has already made big strides in transferring the titles of former council homes in the Ngwathe municipality in the Free State to some of its 33 000 residents.

According to Leon Marincowitz, the project manager of the foundation, there were many pre-1994 provisions, such as various forms of lease agreements, that barred black people from owning homes.

Similarly, home ownership has been undermined by the restrictions on recipients of RDP houses from selling them and by the many cases in which recipients of RDP houses had no title deeds, which sat “at municipalities, in drawers somewhere”.

At a cost of about R1 850 each, the project provides owners with full title to their homes and with no restrictions.

Marius Marais, the chief executive officer of FNB Home Loans, said it was difficult to calculate the amount of capital lying dormant in cases like these. But he estimated that, in the Ngwathe municipality, a 60m2 house was conservatively valued at R300 000, which meant that, in total, about R10-billion could be accessed.

But, he said, homeowners still faced many challenges to unlock the value of their homes. Key to this was educating them about both the importance of their title deeds and how much they could afford to borrow, and preferably for long-term reinvestment in their homes rather than short-term consumption.


http://mg.co.za/article/2014-07-31-state-to-tackle-housing-title-deed-mess
 

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This is hopefully a good move, and I do applaud their final end goal of ending free housing...

I do query the inclusion of EAAB though, as they're not the most trustworthy of organisations from my point of view...
 

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Gauteng housing department remains committed to megaprojects

29th June 2017 By: Anine Kilian Contributing Editor Online

The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements is committed to the implementation of 31 megaprojects that are expected to yield more than 300 000 houses when completed.

Unpacking the 2017/18 financial year’s budget vote for the department, MEC Paul Mashatile on Thursday said the department would continue to lead, coordinate and oversee the development of megaprojects, while the Gauteng Partnership Fund in collaboration with the Housing Development Agency, would be responsible for ensuring and managing the implementation thereof.

“The megaprojects are purposefully planned and developed to provide for the housing, social amenities and economic opportunity needs of communities,” he said, adding that they will also provide mixed housing typologies and security of tenure.

He pointed out that the projects would reinforce key socioeconomic 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,” he noted.

Mashatile stated that the developmental elements included in the implementation of the projects were community engagement; the creation of short, medium and long-term jobs; the growth and sustainability of small, medium-sized and microenterprises 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,” he noted.

Mashatile added that the main element that would ensure the success of the megaproject strategy was the availability of financial resources.

“We are engaging in a robust capital raising intervention aimed at developing sustainable partnerships with the private sector. We believe this intervention will generate the funds required to address the government budget shortfall for our megaprojects,” he said.
 

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Massacre for buy-to-let landlords

The stats are interesting for rental vacancies. To me it seems to imply de-urbanization...big increase in city rental vacancies, but then again, lower rental vacancies in outlying areas and smaller cities (PE, Maritzburg, etc.). If working from home becomes the norm post-covid, then this could be a long term trend.
 
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