17 November 2008
South Africa’s Department of Housing and Anglo Platinum, the world’s leading producer of platinum group metals, have signed a deal to build houses for mining employees in Limpopo and North West provinces.
In terms of the agreement, signed in Johannesburg last week, Anglo Platinum is to invest R1.4-billion to buy land and to service the 20 000 housing stands, while the government subsidy contribution is expected to amount to more than R900-million over 10 years.
Together with the government contribution, the total investment in the project comes to over R2.5-billion, including social and economic amenities. The 40-square-metre houses feature two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living space.
Housing Department acting director-general Kaba Kabagambe said the deal was an example of the government and the private sector working together to accelerate social projects.
“One of our biggest challenges to fast-track housing delivery is servicing land,” Kabagambe said in a statement last week. “We are indeed breaking new ground together.”
Anglo Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau added that by assisting their employees to get houses, the company was contributing to improving their lives and those of their families.
Through the partnership, the housing department will release the necessary subsidy for those who qualify for houses under the Breaking New Ground housing project, which is aimed at creating sustainable communities complete with schools, clinics and other amenities.
Financial sector commitment
According to the department, South Africa’s four major banks had last month informed Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that they had already spent R38-million of the R42-billion they had committed as part of the Financial Services Charter.
Those funds where directed towards people who earned between R3 000 and R8 000 per month, the department said, adding that both the minister and the banking sector were verifying the figures and discussing further partnerships.
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