Minister of Human Settlements and other Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,
Premier of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Macingwane and other leaders of the province,
Your Worship, the Mayor of uMsunduzi Municipality and all other local government and community leaders,
Traditional and religious leaders present,
Umphakathi waseMsunduzi namaphethelo,
A few months ago we were here in Umgungundlovu District Municipality at Vulindlela to celebrate the impressive government housing delivery record of over 4,3 million houses and opportunities since the dawn of democracy.
This figure has now risen to close to 4,5 million houses and subsidies delivered by this government of the people since 1994.
In the State of the Nation Address in 2010 and 2012, I spoke about middle income workers who struggle to secure decent and affordable accommodation for themselves and their families because they neither qualify for fully subsidised housing nor bonded houses.
The construction of the Westgate Social Housing Project which I launched this morning is a direct response to such challenges.
It provides an opportunity to our working youth to live in decent and well-located accommodation, while promoting social integration and deconstructing the apartheid spatial master plan.
This project is 100% rental stock catering for people earning a household income of between R1500 and R7500.
It consists of two bedroom units, each with an open plan kitchen and a lounge.
The Westgate Social housing is expected to cost close to four hundred million rands, which includes funding from the private sector.
It is not RDP houses or low cost houses or rent to buy.
It is just for our people to rent and when they leave here to buy their own houses elsewhere, new people will rent.
There must be no misunderstanding that social housing is only for rental.
The KZN province has only been able to deliver social housing in Msunduzi and eThekwini Municipalities, as these are the only two municipalities who had restructuring zones approved previously.
I am pleased to note that social housing will soon be developed in 5 additional municipalities – Emnambithi, KwaDukuza, Ray Nkonyeni, Mhlathuze and Newcastle and these are still pending gazetting.
Let me also congratulate the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government for winning the award of the Best Performing Province three times in a row at the 2016 Govan Mbeki Awards.
We are a government that will never rest until every South African citizen lives in a decent shelter.
Our resolve is to restore the dignity of our people through human settlements.
The project we launched this morning is one of the largest social housing projects in the country.
On completion it will deliver close to one thousand housing units accommodating close to four thousand beneficiaries.
Projects such as Westgate Social Housing provide tangible proof that we are a country where people and children from all racial and cultural backgrounds can live and play together.
Ladies and gentlemen,
During my address to the nation earlier this year I indicated that the Department of Human Settlements was working on the Property Practitioners Bill aimed at enforcing radical economic transformation in the property sector.
The Bill seeks to amongst others establish a more inclusive, representative property sector that conforms to the radical economic transformation agenda and also to regulate the conduct and behaviour of property practitioners.
I am happy to announce that the Bill has been published for public comments and we invite members of the public to make their voices heard.
I am pleased that the project has a strong local bias with Msunduzi Housing Association (MHA) as the developer. This is a clear expression of our stated commitment to advance radical socio-economic transformation.
We continue to prioritise housing delivery for indigents. These include child headed households, the physically disabled and elderly citizens.
I was also touched by one courageous and physically challenged Mr Maphumulo from Vulindlela, when he was taken to his newly built house.
Having a decent shelter presents a number of social and economic benefits.
These include improved quality of life, personal and private space hardly experienced in a one room shack, a secure environment and tenure rights.
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has built close to five hundred housing (500 000) units since 1994.
This translates to close to two million beneficiaries whose lives have changed for the better by this government.
Housing delivery since 1994 has seen a number of new townships established across the country, benefitting millions of South Africans and bringing transformation to the spatial disfigurement left by apartheid regime.
These include areas like Cosmo City in Gauteng, Klarinet in Mpumalanga, Cornubia in KwaZulu-Natal, Zanemvula in the Eastern Cape and N2 Gateway in the Western Cape, just to name a few.
In addition to this a number of previously disadvantaged rural communities have also benefitted immensely.
One such key housing project that has changed rural communities socially and economically is Vulindlela here in Pietermaritzburg, which is expected to deliver over twenty thousand housing units on completion, offering over 100 000 residents a decent shelter.
However, there is still more that needs to be done.
Over the years, we have seen a vast number of people migrating to urban areas seeking better economic opportunities.
This has put government under immense pressure to provide housing with the requisite infrastructure at an unprecedented rate.
The spiraling costs of building a house and lack of resources to meet this rapidly rising demand compels government to relook at its housing priorities to address the demands of rapid urbanisation.
This includes establishment of integrated catalytic projects across the country which will see the delivery of not less than ten thousand houses per project, providing houses for military veterans, the indigent, elderly or senior citizens, child-headed households, and people with disabilities.
There are different options available for younger people such as the social housing/rental programme and Financial Linked Individually Subsidy Programme (FLISP).
These options are meant for people who earn too much to quality for a fully subsidised government house and earn little to qualify for a bonded house.
Then there is government assisted employee housing for civil servants, which the government hopes that other big employers will follow with employer-assisted housing.
I call upon the young working people to consider making use of FLISP programme to buy themselves houses.
FLISP was developed to enable sustainable and affordable first time home-ownership opportunities to South African citizens earning between R3 501 and R15 000 per month.
The qualifying applicants may use FLISP to do one either buy an existing, new or old, residential property; buy a vacant serviced residential stand, linked to a registered homebuilder contract; or build a residential property on a self-owned serviced residential stand, through a registered homebuilder.
The once-off FLISP subsidy amount ranges between R20 000 and R87000, depending on the applicant’s monthly income.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa