Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements Nonkqubela Pieters has outlined the provincial plan to unlock bottlenecks that are impediments to urgent relief for designated vulnerable groups. This as the provincial government focuses on poverty alleviation and food security in the province.
Pieters said while her department’s sector priorities were clear, intervention on behalf of indigent households had become urgent due to the declining fiscus.
Intervention in this regard would focus on;
• Upscaling of housing opportunities with special focus on prioritization of Destitute,
Vulnerable Groups and Military Veterans.
• Systematic unblocking of historically blocked projects
• Accelerated Registration
and Issuing of Tittle Deeds to Home-owners.
• Increasing opportunities for SMMEs including women and youth.
• Continuous application of Innovative and Sustainable Building Technologies.
The MEC reiterated that her department’s priority over the term was to deliver quality homes to identified needy beneficiaries.
‘’Whilst we have confirmed the total number of approved beneficiaries in the Housing Beneficiary System (HSS) which is over 70 000, their socio and economic status is currently being confirmed as we want to clean the system completely so that we identify and deliver services to the most needy as we indicated that this is our focus’’ said Pieters.
The department has targeted to provide 7172 housing opportunities and 3760 serviced sites across regions.
‘’We are also determined to deliver 240 housing opportunities for Military Veterans at a cost of R 47 million’’, added Pieters.
The Department is faced with a challenge of 156 historically blocked projects
consisting of 48 961 units at a total of R4,5 billion.
In the current financial year the department was set to spend R198 million to unblock 1121 units in 84 projects.
‘’These projects belong to the poorest of the poor and we are planning not to start new projects, until we complete these blocked projects in the coming years’’, said the MEC.
In addition the department, through Remedial Works Programme which was known as Rectification Programme, is busy rectifying 1217 units in OR Tambo with 135 units, Amathole 118, BCM 160, Nelson Mandela 468, Sarah Baartman 142 and Chris Hani 194 at a value of R171 million.
The department also has over 568 informal settlements in towns and cities across the province. It is busy with the upgrading of 113 informal settlements in various phases at a cost of R270 million at Alfred Nzo, Amathole, Chris Hani, Joe Gqabi, OR Tambo and Sarah Baartman.
The exercise excludes the two metros as they are catered for under the Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG).
The provincial Human Settlements department is participating fully in the implementation of Anti-Poverty Strategy in all the identified 39 sites led by the Department of Social Development. The Department is also playing a pivotal role in District Development Model in all Districts Municipalities, especially in OR Tambo, one of the pilot Districts in the country.
‘’Without doubt, the District Development Model is going to assist a lot in the eradication of poverty in our communities’’, concluded MEC Pieters.