Study Tour Report to Australia

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

17 January 2011
Chairperson: Ms B N Dambuza (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Parliamentary Research Unit briefed the Committee on the Queensland Study Tour Report. The Report contained detail of the delegation’s activities and findings. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the housing policies and practices, and how South Africa could adapt the lessons learned to this country. Members expressed concern about the manner in which young people and the elderly were accommodated in the housing market. It was agreed that the report would be adopted at a later meeting.

Meeting report

Queensland Study Tour Report
Ms Berenice Paulse, Researcher, Parliamentary Research Unit, went through the report word for word and mentioned that the delegation was hosted by the Queensland Parliament. The Tour was necessitated by the need to learn from the Australian experience on how Queensland had dealt with legislation relevant to community schemes dispute resolution mechanism and sectional titles. This was particularly relevant as the Committee was busy processing the Sectional Title Schemes Management Bill [B20 -2010] and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill [B21 -2010]. One of the critical lessons observed was that
South Africa should avoid creating large tracks of low cost housing with no social integration, as well as a system where beneficiaries made no contribution towards the housing provided to them.

Ms Paulse gave a brief overview of the Queensland housing market and described the delegation’s activities for each day. The delegation visited various entities that:
•were responsible for managing body corporate and dispute resolution services. Members also visited p •dealt with housing for low income earners
• developed policy and provided a situational analysis for the homeless.
•worked towards creating sustainable socially inclusive communities

Ms Paulse emphasised the role of the NGO sector in the development of a comprehensive policy.
Finally, she read out the recommendations of the delegation. These included a suggestion that a summit be organised about sustainable Human Settlements and that these experiences be shared with other committees such as Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development.

The Chairperson informed Members that the report would not be adopted at this meeting.

Mr A Steyn (DA) thanked Ms Paulse for the stunning work, but noted that the recommendations were not enough. Also, he asked whether body corporates’ were subsidised in Brisbane.

The Chairperson confirmed that body corporates’ were subsidised in Brisbane.

Ms C Mashishi (ANC) asked for clarity around accommodation for the young and the elderly.

Ms Paulse explained that young people had access to subsidised rental housing and eligibility rules required that they should either be studying or employed. Equally, senior citizens had access to subsidised housing.

Adv Jan Tladi, Chief Director: Legal Services, Department of Human Settlements, mentioned that the Sectional Title Schemes Management Bill [B2 -2010] was based on a draft Model of the Queensland System.

Ms M Borman (ANC) commended the training and education of the bodies and NGO’s working in the Queensland housing sector, and that they were not bloated with bureaucracy.

The Chairperson said that the Committee will next meet on 25 January 2011.

The meeting was adjourned 


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