27 February 2014
The South African government will build 216 000 houses and connect 905 000 households to electricity over the next two years, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament on Wednesday.
This is in addition to other housing schemes the state has embarked on in partnership with the private sector and public-private development institutions.
Delivering his fifth Budget speech in Cape Town, Minister Gordhan said the housing budget for the 2013/14 financial year was R143-billion.
Between 1994 and 2013, the government built over 2.7-million houses across South Africa.
The National Development Plan (NDP) recommends that responsibility for housing shift to the country’s municipalities in order to improve coordination. All metro municipalities have been directed to implement housing programmes.
The Human Settlements spending focus over the next two years will be on transferring grants to provinces and municipalities to fund the delivery of low-income housing, the purchase of land to upgrade informal settlements, and the upgrade of some informal settlements, Gordhan said.
The urban settlements development grant is expected to deliver more than 215 000 housing units and upgrade 92 000 services sites in informal settlements.
The integrated city development grant, which is being introduced in this year’s Budget, will ensure that large, low-income communities on the urban edge are better connected to centres of economic and social activity through investments in public transport.
The Treasury says municipalities will receive the grants on condition that they produce built environment plans and that these plans support better coordination of investments and are aligned to national development plans.