21 February 2006
A public-private partnership between the government and banking group Absa has resulted in the launch of a R400-million housing development project at Olievenhoutbosch near Centurion in Gauteng.
Olievenhoutbosch Extension 36, southwest of Centurion, will consist of 5 480 housing units, made up of 3 049 subsidised, 1 168 bonded, and 1 263 rental units build on 180 hectares of land.
Part of the land will also be used for the development of 17 business sites, three schools, two clinics, 10 churches and a public open space.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Pretoria on Monday, Absa group chief executive Steve Booysen said Olievenhoutbosch was the first in a series of projects Absa would be involved in, together with the government and other role players, to help address the housing backlog in the country.
“We aim to provide 100 000 new stands for low-income and subsidised housing, with a goal of a minimum of one project per province by 2008,” Booysen said.
Referring to Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s announcement last week that in future there would be no transfer duty on properties with a value under R500 000, Booysen said: “This will bring the dream of owning a home much closer.”
Also speaking at the launch, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the development was in line with the Financial Sector Charter commitment to the delivery of housing to low-income groups in the country, and was based on national housing guidelines governing sustainable integrated developments.
At least 1.9-million people in South Africa are still living in shacks, the minister said.
“But if we work together we can turn things around and meet our deadline of eradicating informal settlement by 2014.”