CATALYTIC AND PRIORITY PROJECTS TO PROVIDE OVER 105 000 HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR WESTERN CAPE RESIDENTS
Since 2014, the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements has delivered over 70 000 housing opportunities against a target of just over 80 000, translating into 95% performance. This, however, is a drop in the ocean of what is needed to meet the demands of government housing assistance in the Western Cape.
THE DEPARTMENT’S VISION
Migration and population growth have resulted in a backlog of over 550 000 residents in need of government housing assistance in the Western Cape. Many informal settlements were established before 1994, with their residents often lacking access to basic services, occupation rights and security of tenure. The Western Cape has an estimated population growth of 110 000 to 120 000 per year. At this rate, the province is set to have a total population of 8 million by 2030. Urbanisation, poverty and inequality cannot simply be eradicated and dealing with the results of rapid, unstructured and unplanned development has posed a grave challenge for all provinces and this government. This is often evident with the amount of housing-related protests across the country. The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements is committed to its vision of providing residents with liveable, accessible, safe and multi-opportunity settlements. With its annual budget of approximately R2 billion, the department can only provide around 18 000 housing opportunities per year. To eradicate the entire backlog, an estimated budget of R80 billion will be required. In its efforts to decrease the backlog and maximise the use of its budget, the Human Settlements Department has embarked on various initiatives to accelerate the delivery of housing opportunities in the Western Cape. Resources and efforts have been geared to focus on the department’s three strategic priorities:
1. Upgrading informal settlements in order to provide access to basic services to all Western Cape residents. 2. Strengthening our partnerships with the private sector to ensure and increase affordable housing for people earning above the free-subsidy threshold.
3. Allocating free subsidised state houses to prioritise the
most vulnerable beneficiaries.
CATALYTIC AND PRIORITY PROJECTS
Key to delivering these strategic housing priorities are the department’s Catalytic and Priority projects. These projects are spatially targeted interventions that aim to provide infrastructure by restructuring settlements’ patterns and to change the way the department delivers on housing opportunities in the Western Cape. They are conceptualised and planned to consider the life of a project, including all components required to deliver better quality, integrated living environments with access to basic services, schools, transport, social amenities and economic opportunities. Catalytic and Priority projects are outlined for development across the Western Cape. These projects will, upon completion, yield just over 105 000 housing opportunities by 2022. All projects were submitted to national Cabinet in 2016 for final approval. While some projects are at early assessment phase, others are well into the design, planning and implementation phases. At a fundamental level, the Catalytic and Priority projects are geared to: • Provide settlements that offer good basic and socioeconomic services. • Offer a range of rental and ownership options that
respond to the needs and incomes of households.
• Consistently improve settlements through joint citizen and government efforts, supported by private sector contributions.
Head of Department, Mr Thando Mguli