Public Sector Manager - - Advertorial -

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.


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.


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

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