Comprehensive Housing Plan: Director-General's briefing

NCOP Public Services

12 October 2004
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Meeting report

PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
13 October 2004
COMPREHENSIVE HOUSING PLAN: DIRECTOR-GENERAL’S BRIEFING

Chairperson:
Mr R Tau (ANC)

Documents handed out
Department of Housing presentation – "Breaking New Ground: Comprehensive plan for integrated sustainable human settlements"

SUMMARY
Ms Mpumi Nxumalo, Director-General of the Department of Housing, presented a document on the comprehensive plan for integrated sustainable human settlements. The presentation was very technical and dealt with issues concerning Reconstruction and Development Project (RDP) housing, urban renewal and inner city regeneration. Due to the technical nature of the presentation, Members mainly wished to ask questions of clarification and raised no serious concerns. However, the Chairperson did not allow such questions and Members were asked to go over the document on their own and to raise questions at the next meeting.

MINUTES

Department of Housing briefing
Ms Mpumi Nxumalo (Department Director-General) presented the Comprehensive Plan for Integrated Sustainable Human Settlements. She highlighted the new subsidy intervention for households earning R3 501 to R7 000. The current income cut-off of R3 500 left a gap. The people that fell just outside this bracket were not eligible for the maximum grant, but they also did not qualify for bank loans.

She also touched on the improvement of the registration process, quicker access to land, and the progressive upgrading of informal settlements. Housing developments in the informal settlements would cover a variety of options such as medium rental housing and communal housing. Redevelopment of informal settlements was a priority and relocation would be used as a last resort over the next 6-10 years. Pilot programmes for integrated co-operative governance would also run in the provinces from 1 April 2005.

Another intervention proposed was a residential development permit to enforce income class and race integration in any housing scheme. There would also be financial incentives for densification. Urban renewal and regeneration were important steps in the development of better housing. In closing, she mentioned that government had already approved an Inter-ministerial Committee to play an oversight role for all human settlements. Local government’s role would also be expanded through the accreditation programme for municipalities.

Discussion
Mr Krumbock (DA, Kwazulu-Natal) said that the presentation had been too complicated and that he had more than 20 questions to ask.

Ms Nxumalo said that she knew that the presentation was very technical, but that the Department would have workshops on 2 November 2004 to explain everything in detail. Mr Tau said that the Committee would be in Gauteng then and would not be able to attend.

Ms Matlanyane (ANC, Limpopo) agreed that the presentation was too technical and Members needed time to go through the document on their own. The Chairperson agreed and said if possible, the Committee would attend the workshop. It would be very important for the Committee to attend the launch of the comprehensive document by the Minister.

The meeting was adjourned.

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