27 June 2003
Thousands of rental housing units are to be constructed in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga following an agreement between the government, labour and the private sector.
The chief director of programme management in the department of housing, Johan Wallis, told Parliament on Wednesday that the initiative, known as the “Job Summit Project”, aims to implement the construction of between 50 000 and 150 000 units in three phases, to be completed by 2005.
Wallis said eight such projects were currently under way in Gauteng to construct a total of 5 000 units. “Construction has already begun on 450 units in Klipfontein and 970 units in Brickfields. Development in Faraday, Metro Mall, Tribunal Gardens, Better Buildings, Doornfontein and Baralink are still in planning stages,” he said.
In Tasbet Park and Duvha Park in Mpumalanga, 5 000 units are being constructed east of the N4, with 20 completed units to be handed over to tenants on 1 July.
Wallis said that although the Durban Metro had approved the construction of 700 units in Roosfontein Hill in Cato Manor, the department had had to cancel the construction of a further 2 800 units at Mount Moriah in KwaMashu because the area is notorious for non-payment of rates and taxes.
“Rental is not a cheap option. Units are very expensive to build, but because of government subsidies the poor will have increased access to the units,” Wallis said.
Government has agreed to provide R380-million in subsidies, with a further R225-million made available for the project from poverty relief funds.