Question NW218 to the Minister of Public Service and Administration

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03 March 2021 - NW218

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration

(1)What total (a) number of qualifying government employees are currently benefitting from the Government Employees Housing Scheme (GEHS) in each (i) province, (ii) department and (iii) salary level and (b) amount is currently being saved in the Individual-Linked Savings Facility for qualifying government employees who do not currently own homes; (2) Whether the department attempted to establish why only a low number of qualifying government employees are benefiting from the GEHS; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?


1(a) As at 31 January 2021, the number of government employees receiving the housing allowance was 958 705. The breakdown is as follows: 710 173 employees are for home ownership, 240 194 employees are tenants and 8338 are employees still receiving the old housing allowance.

1(a)(i) The table hereunder provides aggregate information, as at 31st January 2021, on employees that are receiving the housing allowance per province and in national departments.

Province and National

Number of employees

Eastern Cape

95 040

Free State

41 006


122 960

KwaZulu Natal

145 358


86 588


59 428

North West

45 060

Northern Cape

16 250

Western Cape

49 009

All Provinces (Sub Total)

660 699


298 006

Grand Total


1(a)(ii) Information on employees receiving the housing allowance per department (National and provincial departments) is reflected on Annexure A.

1(a)(iii) Information on employees, per salary level 1 to 10 including 11 to 12 for the Occupational Special Dispensation (OSD), is reflected on Annexure B. Employees who are not owning nor renting any accommodation do not receive the housing allowance. Employees who are on middle management (MMS) and senior management service (SMS) levels (11 – 16) respectively and are on Total Cost to Employer salary packages do not receive a separate housing allowance. However, they are able to access other services of the Scheme, such as education and counselling, housing loans and housing stock facilitation, and enrolment.

1(b) As at 31st December 2020, the amount currently saved in the Individual-Linked Savings Facility (ILSF) is R 9.6 billion.

2. The DPSA has established that eligible public service employees are accessing the housing allowance benefit and that this has improved since inception of the GEHS benefits. This is demonstrated by the fact that the qualifying number of employees has almost doubled from 352 103 in July 2015 when the GEHS benefits were implemented to 710 173 employees as at 31 January 2021., A further improvement is on the reduction of the number of employees who were eligible for the historical housing allowance from 44530 in July 2015, to 8 338 employees, as at 31 January 2021.

At an employee/individual level factors, ranging from poor financial health, decisions on appropriate home locations, respective housing stock supply and affordability price ranges affect the ability of employees to obtain finance for housing loans or where to purchase, within their affordability criteria.

The access to and provision of decent housing is a national imperative and the DPSA is acutely aware of its role in acting as a catalyst for disrupting the status quo.