Hansard: EPC: Debate on Vote 38: Human Settlements (NA Chamber)
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 07 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Thursday, 7 May 2015 Take: 150
THURSDAY, 7 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – CHAMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the National Assembly Chamber at 14:01.
House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 38 – Human Settlements:
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS:House Chair, please allow me to dedicate this speech today to an outstanding woman, a heroine of the struggle, Ruth Mompati, Isitwalandwe, a woman of whom we are all proud. [Applause.]
Chairperson, hon members, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, we have spent the better part of the past year consolidating what we had conceptualised in 2004 as groundbreaking policy. It was gratifying and reassuring to see that this groundbreaking policy, as adopted by Cabinet in 2004, is now encapsulated as is in the National Development Plan of 2013. Its basis is founded on solid ground, worked through with the support of the MECs then and my MECs now, worked through with African ministers of housing and urban development, worked through with the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr Anna Tibaijuka, eminent academic Jeffrey Sachs of the United Nations Secretariat, the World Urban Forum, the ministers of housing of Brazil, India and Malaysia, the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, and the high-level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to these individuals and institutions who helped us create the policies we now have, for the generosity of their contributions and for their belief that we would represent the ideal “best practice” for all developing countries. We have been developing our policies over several years now, and we will be putting out a White Paper on Human Settlements based on these, as well as on the comments from our supporters and ordinary South Africans - compatriots who would like to see us succeed. It is important to mention all of this and all of these people who have supported us, so that we understand the burden on us to succeed. It was a difficult period for us when we had to sift through a number of pilot projects; what worked for us and what did not in practice. Here we are now, 10 years later, much wiser but profoundly enriched by our experiences. So, I can assure you that we have a solid foundation for Human Settlements; one that we are selling to the rest of the developing world.
What will come as a shock to most - because it came as a shock to us who were pioneering this policy - is that what we were doing and what we thought was groundbreaking research had, in fact, already been well captured in the Freedom Charter way back in 1955. We were truly astounded by how incredibly advanced the ANC was, under the most repressive conditions. The collective wisdom of our people never ceases to amaze me. The section of the Freedom Charter that relates to housing is in the green booklets that you have in front of you - I hope. I read to you to articulate the views of ordinary South Africans then about the kind of society they dreamed of, that “there shall be houses”and, through those, “security and comfort”. Furthermore, the Freedom Charter states:
All people shall have the right to live where they choose, to be decently housed and to bring up their families in comfort and security;
Unused housing space shall be made available to the people; Rent and prices shall be lowered; …
Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, crèches and social centres ...
How advanced the ANC was then! [Applause.]
Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished and laws which break up families shall be repealed.
What defines us as a civilised people is the creation of permanent shelter. That is well known. This defines the centrality of shelter in any society and any civilisation.
The guiding principles that we will emphasise in the White Paper are the following: the restoration of human dignity and value for money, which requires that our procurement process should be transparent, efficient and cost effective while paying attention to issues of economic transformation. Economies of scale should be exploited because the need is so large that we cannot settle for minor projects.
Self-reliance should be promoted, as for far too long we have treated benefiting communities and individuals as if they were physically incapacitated. Beneficiaries should be encouraged to participate in their own development. The added advantage is that aside from beneficiaries valuing and protecting their own output and/or creation, we are simultaneously creating an opportunity for skills transfer.
This booklet - which I see is not in front of you but will be given to you - shows the work that we have diligently done since 2004 and that brought about the concept of“human settlements”. Based on those founding principles, which are now in the National Development Plan, we are confident that the White Paper on Human Settlements will cater for all the challenges we face and are likely to face in the coming years. We have spent a great deal of time on this, and the final product will speak for itself, having been in the making for so many years. Weemphasise this because we want to give hope to our people and also to indicate that our foundation is extremely solid.
But a plan is only as credible as its capacity to deliver on that plan. It remains our responsibility to ensure good governance, to eradicate extreme poverty, to ensure access to housing for the poorest of the poor and to promote partnerships for development. This is the theme for our Budget Vote today – creating partnerships for development. We have understood that, on our own, we will not be able to achieve what we have set ourselves to do.
Going forward, we will needemphasise our delivery - our ability to deliver faster, better and more efficiently. Our commitment, as we indicated last year, is to build 1,5 million houses and housing opportunities to accommodate our growing backlog. In particular, we emphasise the issue of partnerships. We could not possibly do what needs to be done alone. Not only do we need partnerships with the industry butalso partnerships with society. Society cannot afford to be passive resistant.
We also want partnerships with ordinary Members of Parliament, who should check in with their constituencies to see what their housing needs are, to see how we can assist them with their housing needs and, possibly, also to give explanations of why things are the way they are. You are our conduit to our people; we need a partnership with you. [Applause.]
South Africa ranks among the top countries in the world for the value of properties. As you are aware, there are huge inequalities in our society. I do not need to emphasise this more than that.This is not a true reflection of property vested in an individual. The Department of Human Settlements has a range of subsidies to assist people because, ultimately, our goal is to promote homeownership.
Houses are an assetthat can be leveraged to take even the poorest of the poor out of the poverty debt trap. This, of course, depends on people who are given free houses - the indigent - understanding that they may not sell a house before they have lived in it for eight years, and thereafter the first buyer, we would like to think, would be government. We are still contemplating how to do this. The idea here is that we should keep the stock that we have. Otherwise, it is sold to people who are not indigent and who do not qualify to have a government house. [Applause.]
However, it has been very heartening to learn from research done by the department that the fastest-growing property market in South Africa has been from the sector that we provide our people. This is something to be very proud of; that this is the fastest-growing sector in the property market.
Our hope is that owners selling their houseswill doso legally under circumstances that are regulated.Our job as government is to regulate the sale of houses so that the transaction is legal and that the seller is well informed and consciously takes the decision to sell. There is great value in the houses we give our people, and we want them to appreciate that. To the extent that it is possible, I urge beneficiaries of houses please to look after their houses carefully and to consider before they sell.
This is possibly the only asset they can bequeath their children. These are the poorest of the poor. They have inherited nothing; their land was taken. What we give them, we would like them to bequeath to their children. In time, we might be able to eliminate the inequalities between the races here, where a white child will grow up and be assured of inheriting something from his or her parents, while a black child inherits a shack. Please hold on to these houses we give you. [Applause.]
We have an entity called the Estate Agency Affairs Board, EAAB,and it is primed to ensure that it can assist all of you who would like to sell to understand the value of these houses and to transact properly.We have been shocked by instances where houses that we built for R160 000 were sold for R10 000.
Mr C MACKENZIE: Or R5 000!
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Or R5 000, thank you very much! It does not matter. [Laughter.] This is simply because of the lack of education about the value of the house.
We are busy looking at a special vehicle to accommodate foreigners who are in the countrylegally, through the Community Residential Units, CRUs, and backyard dwellings. However, we would like to urge our people: Please sell – if you have to sell – to a South African who qualifies to have a government-subsidised house.
Our policies have been piloted through several pilot projects. The most successful one we could not have done without our partnership with the banks. We would like to thank them for that. We could not have done that without the support of the MEC for the Western Cape. We have had very steep learning curves in this, the N2 Gateway Project. It has been a work in progress for the last 10 years, but I want to assure you thatphase one will have been completed by the end of June. [Applause.] This will yield 15 000 houses, and this is the first time that we have produced such a huge project. The President has become very interested in this project and will be visiting the area towards the end of the month. I invite members to accompany the President to see what we have done on the N2.
We have discovered over time - and it was pointed out to usat the World Urban Forum held in Naples in 2012 - that as we create policy, we should be very mindful of the social distance that we are creating between the implementers of the policy and the beneficiaries of the policy. Therefore, we have prioritised communication and outreach programmes as part of our frontline services to ensure that the correct messages reach our people, in order to reduce the social distance referred to above. I have therefore decided to appoint a national rapid response task team that will help us communicate with our communities before implementing any policies so that the beneficiaries understand the benefitsthat are coming to them, who would qualify and what they should do when they receive their houses. This, we believe, will lessen the tension that always arises when there is a development. The task team will also assist us in understanding where there is a problem and allow us to rapidly respond to the problems as they arise before they get out onto the streets.
To assist our people in understanding our policies, and accompanying the White Paper on Human Settlements,we have created a television series, Breaking New Ground, which is being rebroadcast. We would like you to watch it; it starts on 13 May. You will discover from that what has been done in Human Settlements over the last 10 years and what we would like to do in future.
Mr C MACKENZIE: It is propaganda!
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: It is not propaganda. We indicated to you last year that we would be building 50 catalytic projects. These projects are intended as game changers in the process of spatial planning in our country. They are intended to overcome the problems of dysfunctional apartheid spatial planning and will shape the future of human settlements development – in other words, the cities and towns that make up postapartheid South Africa for generations to come will come out of this master spatial plan.
In his state of the nation address, the President announced the significant progress being madein the revitalisation of mining towns. Human Settlements is focusing on 22 mining towns in six provinces. For the last financial year, more than 4 000 units were delivered, mainly in Mpumalanga and North West, and we are proceeding apace. We hope to build, in the not too distant future, 10 000 houses for miners on land that was donated by Lonmin and Anglo American. [Applause.]In total, government has committed R6,3 billion over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. Of this amount,the contribution of Human Settlements is R2,1 billion – nothing to sniff at – and the mining houses have contributed an amount of R3,5 billion.We have been approached for partnerships by various other large employers, and we welcome these initiatives. We would like to see people who employ large numbers of employees coming forward to ask how they can help us help their people find accommodation.
Chairperson, on the actual budget of the past year, I would like to report that we have spent 98% of our Human SettlementsDevelopment Grant, HSDG,allocated expenditure for the 2014-15 financial year.Did I hear a resounding ... [Applause.] We have looked into the spending patterns ... [Interjections.]
Mr M S MBATHA: On a point of order, Chair. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Please take your seat, hon Minister. We will attend to that. Yes, hon member, on what point are you rising?
Mr M S MBATHA: House Chair, we just want you to request the gallery to be quiet. [Interjections.] They are participating.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon member. You may take your seat. Order, hon members! I want to assure our guests in the gallery that you are welcome in Parliament and that you are free to observe. However, you are not allowed to participate in the proceedings of the House. Continue, hon Minister. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: We have looked into the spending patterns of the provinces, and I would like to report that when it became clear that Limpopo would not spend its HSDG allocation, we reallocated R559 million through a Minmec decision and allocated R200 million to the Eastern Cape, R200 million to KwaZulu-Natal, and the remainder of the R159,5 million was ring-fenced for those provinces implementing the Youth Brigade programme. What I want to emphasise here is that there is R159 million ring-fenced for the Youth Brigade programme. [Applause.]
I want to place particular emphasis on this. If we are to deal with the burning issue of youth unemployment, we have to do things differently.What we want to do now is make sure that 60% of all employment in our mega-projects is for the youth from the youth brigades. [Interjections.] It is everybody. Thank you very much. [Interjections.]
I have held several meetings with mayors of the metropolitan municipalities so that we can agree on a policy together on the use of the Urban Settlements Development Grant, USDG. This was necessitated by the discovery that in certain metros the USDG was being used for administrative purposes other than what it was supposed to be used for. As you know, the USDG is a Schedule 4 conditional grant allocated to the eight metropolitan municipalities to ensure adequate infrastructure development in urban areas, in order to address the urgent need for accelerated human settlements development.
We have approved the policy on the conditions of the use of the conditional grant and, henceforth, the USDG will be used for the following purposes: land acquisition, bulk infrastructure, basic services and serviced sites, and the provision of social and economic amenities that support the provision of human settlements. It may not be used for any other purpose,except for a deviation request from the Minister of Human Settlements.
Together with the Ministers of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Water and Sanitation, we have had several joint meetings – a first, which we are very proud of – with our mayors to discuss the matter of accreditation. This is an ongoing matter. We hope tohave an agreed course of action in the near future and will then report to the portfolio committee on a regular basis. We have sent an interdepartmental team consisting of National Treasury and the Departments of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Water and Sanitation to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. This was at the request of the mayor, after realisingthat there were difficulties in laying out the housing infrastructure, especially with their tendering processes. This has been underpinned by a Cabinet decision and a memorandum of understandingbetween the three spheres of government and is headed by the Housing Development Agency, HDA. We will again report to the portfolio committee on a regular basis about our progress in the area and invite hon members – all of you – to visit the metro and see how it is possible to help and make sure that we make a success of building houses for our people in that particular metro.
That is on the allocation made last year. This year, an allocation of R30,9 billion has been made, and we intend to monitor the performance and outcomes agreed on. NowI will go on to the new proposed direction that we will take through for this year to ensure that we do things differently and better.
Firstly, I have indicated to you that we have created a rapid response task team that will interface with the beneficiaries to minimise any conflict and reduce the social distance that normally comes out of these processes.
Secondly, we are restructuring our policy on hostels. In short, we are abolishing hostels in cities. [Applause.] We would like to gradually abolish these hostels in towns so that hostel dwellers who have lived in our towns for a number of years would qualify for a Breaking New Ground, BNG, house or the CRU subsidy, depending on their special circumstances. Together with the mayors, we have agreed that the upgraded hostels already in place ought to be bought by the Social Housing Regulatory Authority and managed as social housing projects. This we will do in every town where we have upgraded hostels and where the hostel dwellers have not taken up residency.
The message we want to send to what is otherwise called hostel dwellers is that we have understood your concerns and responded to your pleas. We request that you allow us to put up temporary shelter while we build permanent units for you. The social housing units will give preference to under 40s because we want them to have a foot in the door so that they, too, have accommodation. We have discoveredthat those people whom we call hostel dwellers or migrant labourers are a relic of the past. Anybody who works and lives in a town is an urbanised South African, in the same way a white person who works in Port Elizabeth and has a holiday home in Camps Bay is not a migrant labourer. We would like to replace the words “migrant labourer”. We would like work with the mining sector to see that these people are given their rights in towns and relegate to the past a society that is based on the migrant labour system. It has been an insult to us, and it continues to be an insult to us.
As we continue to upgrade informal settlements, we will now prioritise backyard dwellers, largely the children of first-generation urban dwellers, who rightly have complained that we have not prioritised them as we prioritise people in informal settlements and give them priority in our allocations. We would like say to the backyard dwellers that we are not ignoring them; we are attending to them, and we will be at their doors very soon, making sure that they are adequately housed. [Applause.]
We want to use part of the USDG grant to keep our cities and townships clean. Clean cities are an economic, environmental and hygienic necessity for all of us who live in them. We have a commitment from the mayors that they will adhere to this and pay particular attention to the cleanliness of our townships. Our cities become increasingly clean, but our townships -run by the same municipalities- are very dirty.
For this purpose, we require an amount to be ring-fenced from the USDG to employ Youth Brigade members to keep cities and townships clean.[Applause.] This will provide employment opportunities for our unemployed youth and ensure that all of us live in pleasant, healthy conditions, such as those the people in Camps Bay enjoy. So too do the people of Philippi need a clean and pleasant environment to live in.
Additionally, we have taken it upon ourselves to provide the indigent with free houses. We would like them, in return, to look after their houses, fix the broken windows and keep their stands clean. This is a partnership we would like to have with them. Please look after your houses and make sure that you can realise the value inherent in it. There are city and municipality by-laws, and we require that these be kept as strictly in the townships as they are kept in the cities.
We have a very good relationship with the Banking Association SA. We hope they will come onboard again and assist us in ensuring that we can cover ground that we have lost over the last period in which they were not in our space. We need this partnership because every mega-project we have built has been built with the support of the banks.
Minmec deliberated and decided that the subsidy quantum would remain unchanged for the current financial year. We remain very concerned about the subsidy quantum. When Minister NomvulaMokonyane and I were Ministers in 2009, the subsidy quantum was R77 000. It now stands at R160 573 - completely unacceptable if we want to cover 1,5 million houses. We are looking at ways in which we can introduce new technologies so that we can spread the money we have as far as we can take it. We are aware of the inflationary pressures on us, but we would like to do things differently so that we can maximise what we have.
I am happy to tell you that through the Estate Agency Affairs Board of SA we have the“one learner, one estate agency” Youth Brigade programme. We hope that by the end of the year, 10 000 aspirant estate agents will be enrolled with us through this programme. We hope that these estate agents will assist and teach our people, especially the beneficiaries, the value of a house and how they may transact. Most importantly, we would like to teach them to inform our beneficiaries that a will is an absolute necessity when you have an asset like a house. We have incurred enormous difficulties from beneficiaries who pass away without a will.
We want to make sure that, in this financial year, we can conclude our allocation of 6 000 houses for military veterans. There is no reason why, 21 years later, military veterans are still not housed properly. By the time they die, we are extremely embarrassed to take them from a shack to their graves. Therefore, we commit ourselves to prioritising it, to finishing itand to making sure that we do not bring this up in this Budget Vote again.
We have educational partnerships with a number of institutions of higher learning. We have higher education partnerships with five universities, and we have learnerships with all of them. We would like to make sure that we can professionalise human settlements.
I am very happy to announce that we are moving apace with regard to the consolidation of development finance institutions, DFIs. We hope that by December 2015, we will have completed the consolidation of our DFIs. The enabling legislation for the new Human Settlements Development Finance Corporation will now be developed. It is envisaged that the new Human Settlements Development Finance Corporation could be approved for legislative establishment by December 2016.
The revitalisation of inner cities is something that we are very concerned about. We will embark on a process of partnership with various metros to revitalise inner cities, not for gentrification, as is happening in some cities, but to ensure that those people who work in cities have easy access to places of work. Over and above that, most inner cities have become derelict and susceptible to criminal elements that hijack buildings. There is also a serious challenge of buildings that have been left vacant for a long time. We will expropriate unused buildings and assign them for the purposes of building social housing next to places of work. In most cases, the vacant land that has not been used is very far from cities and places of work, and most workers spend a great deal of their salary on transport. What we want to do is see the inner city change and accommodate working-class people who will then be able to walk to work.
We would like to review the tender system. We have had a great deal of problems. Yes, Guluva, I send a kiss back to you too! [Laughter.] We will review the tender system as it is currently formulated. The current system is susceptible to abuse, corruption and manipulation.A tender in respect of housing and the acquisition of related services, in this case, is fixed. Because the price of the house is fixed, there is no room for competition. [Interjections.] The land is given to us and the house has fixed specifications. We envisage a new procurement system, and we ask of you to assist us in this to make sure that our systems are clean, corruption free, value for money and that we are able to produce the number of houses we would like to.
Chairperson, thank you very much for all the time and for the three minutes you have taken from me. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms N N MAFU
THE MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
Nks N N MAFU: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, uMphathiswa ohloniphekileyo wezokuHlaliswa koLuntu, uNksz Lindiwe Sisulu, iSekela lakhe uNksz Zoe Kota-Fredericks, abaphathiswa bamaphondo abakhoyo kule Ndlu, amaLungu ePalamente endiwathanda kakhulu, amagosa asebenzela eli sebe ekhokelwa nguMlawuli-Jikele uMnu Thabane Zulu, abasebenzi bePalamente abaxhase le komiti, iindwendwe ezibalulekileyo, manene nani manenekazi, Mzantsi Afrika uphela, ndiyanibulisa egameni loMqulu weNkululeko ogqiba iminyaka engama-60; unyaka wokutshintsha uqoqosho welizwe kweli lizwe. Ndiyanibulisa kule nyanga yokukhumbula ukudityaniswa kwelizwekazi le-Afrika. Sithi masimanyane ma-Afrika.
The clarity and correctness of the ideas of the Freedom Charter testify to the revolutionary maturity of those responsible for drawing it up, the people of South Africa, led by the congress leadership. That it has outlived its critics re-affirms its necessity as the definite expression of the goals of our national democratic revolution.
The Freedom Charter remains the centerpiece of the ideological orientation of the ANC and its leadership in constructing the new South African state. It remains a totem of the struggle. It re-affirms democratic, nonracial and nonsexist principles but, most importantly, it is a struggle in progress.South Africans, on 26 June 2015 we have a date with you – it is when we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of this charter.
Hon Chair, “there shall be houses, security and comfort”. This R30 billion Budget Vote 38 is part of the ANC-led government’s strategy to address and build on what has been achieved over the past 21 years. The portfolio committee has considered this budget, together with the department’s strategic plan and the annual performance plan for both the department and its entities, and it has interacted with the Auditor-General’s office as part of its oversight role.We applaud the department for their co-operation and we are happy to tell you that both the department and its eight entities got an unqualified audit - but yes, there are areas of concern.
As you know, 97% of the departmental budget goes to provinces and the metros through grants.The first grant, which is the Human Settlements Development Grant, amounts to R18,2 billion this year. It is a vehicle through which provinces are funded by the department. We note as well that, from this grant, R500 million has been put aside to give to the Housing Development Agency because some of the planning and project development work previously carried out by provinces has shifted to them.
An amount of R3,3 billion has been ring-fenced for the mining towns upgrade in six provinces, as outlined by the President of this country, Jacob Zuma, in his state of the nation address.
We would like it to be noted that when the committee engaged with the provinces, only six provinces attended. Three did not attend the meeting. Out of those six, only one province brought a head of department. We have asked the department to follow up on this matter and to report back to the committee. We would also like to put it on record that when we engaged with the Gauteng province, Tshwane, as a metro, did not attend the meeting and we are still awaiting an explanation.
Limpopo province is of concern to us but we are very excited about the intervention that the department and the Ministry are putting in place to deal with this matter.
In my engagement with the MEC of KwaZulu-Natal, he mentioned his concern about the budget that is allocated to his province. My response was: Spend what you have, let us see the output and then come back to ask for money when you have spent what you had. [Applause.]
The second grant, which is called the Urban Settlements Development Grant, USDG, amounts to about R10,5 billion and goes to the metros. As you have already heard, this grant must be used for bulk infrastructure installation, land acquisition and the servicing of sites. We therefore note with concern, hon Minister, that there are metros that use this grant for functions other than what it is meant for.
We welcome the proposal from the department for an urgent consultation on alignment between the provinces and the municipalities to make sure that the application of these two grants is aligned. The intervention of the department in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality is welcome and supported by the portfolio committee.
It is very disappointing that the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality had to redirect about R400 million of its Human Settlements budget back to the province in the last adjustment budget because of poor planning and thus the poor were denied housing opportunities in this city.[Interjections.]The DA-led Western Cape is more concerned about middle-class comfort than the people of this country.[Interjections.] Now they want to use the Human Settlements budget for the electrification of backyards. While this is commendable, is the DA telling us that permanent backyarders are better than providing houses for the people of Western Cape?[Interjections.] Is this maybe a question of a “refugee” situation? Maybe we should be told.
We all know that the output delivery numbers in this province are very low when it comes to Human Settlements. Even those numbers are mainly from the N2 Gateway project, which is a national project, while five metros contribute to a rollover of R585 million, which has been rolled over from the 2013-14 financial year.
It is worth noting that the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality is leading the pack in the underspending of the USDG.[Interjections.] They have spent only 39% of their grant and 61% had to be rolled over. In an exact amount, it is R286,5 million that has to be rolled over from the City of Cape Town. [Interjections.]
We are observing with concern, therefore, the poor co-ordination of land disposal between the three spheres of government and municipalities.What we want to know is why, when municipalities dispose of land, they do not consult the relevant spheres of government, yet there is an outcry about the availability of land to settle communities. If the Housing Development Agency is sought out when land acquisition is needed, why can it not be sought out when land is about to be auctioned by the municipality or to be sold?
Chapter 8 of the National Development Plan has re-affirmed the importance of a coherent and inclusive approach to the land question. A meeting, hon Minister, between the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs and ourselves will happen very soon to discuss both this issue and the accreditation process so that we are on the same page.
A further grant has been established, called the Municipal Human Settlements Capacity Grant, which is meant to capacitate municipalities to discharge their housing functions. We are happy about this and we know that it is not being used effectively at this point in time. We made a commitment as the country that by 2020 we would have contributed to the improvement of the lives of at least 100 million informal settlement dwellers in the world.
As you know, South Africa is a signatory to UN-Habitat, which determines the global human settlements vision. South Africa looks forward to participating in the 2016 UN-Habitat conference in Equador. It is headlined “The New Urban Agenda”. This conference takes place every 20 years and we are happy to say that South Africa is part of the process. [Applause.]
Hon Minister, in your budget speech last year you highlighted certain commitments. Firstly, you promised military veterans about 5 000 houses in three years. We need to understand how far we are. The second commitment was women empowerment. You promised ring-fencing of 10% of the department’s budget for women empowerment. We are further hearing that there are about 100 women who are sponsored by the National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC, and are studying at the University of Pretoria, Gordon Institute of Business Science, Gibs.
We are happy to hear about youth empowerment in the Estate Agency Affairs Board project, where the One Learner, One Real Estate Agency programme is training young, previously disadvantaged people. The commitment to creating a Youth Brigade in each province is commendable. The department needs to look to increase its efforts in addressing scarce skills in this sector.You will remember, hon members, that when we talk about real estate, it is a previously white-dominated area. That is why there is some jitteriness in people when we talk about it.
Thirdly, we want the department to make sure that the 2% for people with disabilities, which the ANC-led government has put aside for all departments, must be adhered to. We want proper progress on these commitments and we urge the department to further ring-fence 10% of the mega projects, or the so-called catalytic projects, for these vulnerable groups - especially women, hon Minister.
A number of policies, we hear, are under review and we are happy about that. The Department of Human Settlements is in the process of drafting a policy on Human Settlements that will enhance the current Housing Act. The view is that policies should not be regarded as static. They should be adjustedfrom time to time to suit the times of the day.
The Property Practitioners Management Bill, under the EAAB, is under review. The Consumer Bill, under the NHBRC, is also under review. Issues raised with the department on some of its entities have been addressed, while others are works in progress. We are very happy about that.
The progress on the consolidation of the department’s financial developmental institutions, FDI, is welcomed. One of the priorities that have come out of the FDIs is the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme, Flisp, which is aimed at assisting families who fall in the middle income band; that is, those who do not qualify for the government subsidy yet they do not qualify for a government house either.This is critical to us because those people seem not to be catered for by either of what we are doing.
Entities are an important support system to the department. There is a need to ensure collaboration in service delivery,the effective use of government resources and to provide communities with a comprehensive human settlements programme.
Let me talk politics. The lumpenproletariat is a dangerous class. It is parasitic; it dreams of becoming rich and it also uses what is called a proletariat revolution. It is a tool of reactionary intrigue and is very unstable.[Interjections.]It advocates adventurism and anarchism in the name of the revolution. It is fascist in nature and does not have the interest of the masses at heart, but uses the masses for its own ends.[Interjections.][Applause.]
Revolution purifies people. It improves and develops them, just as experienced farmers correct the deficiencies of their crops and strengthen the good qualities. Lumpens are often a product of resisting this process.[Interjections.] Analysis must be profound and exhaustive so that there will be no mistakes, no shortcuts, no desperation of the red regalia wanting to be seen as revolutionaries. [Interjections.]
No one can call himself or herself a revolutionary as if it were a diploma given to you by a university after you have struggled to pass your matric. Then, with the results of your matric, you call your pet project a party. You all know what party that is. [Interjections.]
Che Guevara once said…. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Order, hon members! Order!
Mrs N N MAFU: Che Guevara once saidthat if you thought that imperialism was finished off by political power, then you needed to take a vacation to the moon. [Interjections.] He further said that when a leader is attacked the most and a party is attacked the most, it is undoubtedly a better party and a better leader. [Interjections.]
NgokokeukubauyambonauKhongolose, asinangxaki, asingcangcazeli, siyakumkhokela; simphatheadeabuyeuYesu.
We are the hope of unredeemed South Africans. Democratic governments, even before they ascend to power, are compromised by a series of concessions they have had to make beforehand to survive. Let us keep our eyes on the ball and ensure that our households have adequate housing in better living environments and that we are delivering settlements that are spatially, socially and economically integrated.[Interjections.]
Poverty, unemployment and inequality must be our main enemy. Let us not get sidetracked. The ANC knows that political power is the instrument for the conquest of the economy and for making national sovereignty in its broadest sense; hence we adopted a radical economic transformation agenda. The ANC-led government is reversing past imbalances and creating a better life for South African citizens.
We believe that this budget is an instrument of change.[Interjections.] We are convinced that this Budget Vote reflects the funding of the policies of the ANC and its government programme. As this portfolio committee, we appreciate your efforts,hon Sisulu. Thank you very much. The ANC supports the Budget Vote.[Interjections.][Applause.]
Mr M GANA
Ms N N MAFU
Mr M GANA: Mutshamaxitulu, Holobye, XandlaxaHolobyenavahloniphekivaHuvo,...
...hon Minister, I assume that you are a South African and Xitsonga is one of our languages. I am very disappointed in you. I am very disappointed in you.
Maafrika-Dzongahinkwenu, [All South Africans,] this afternoon we are reflecting on the Human Settlements 2015-16 budget, and I must state at the onset that very little has changed in this budget. It is just more of the same. There are no bold plans for this financial year. It is business as usual. I cannot understand how this department is happy to continue on the path of poor delivery.
On 24 June last year, I stood before you to raise issues pertaining to Human Settlements. In her response, the hon Minister agreed with most of the issues I raised. However, and sadly, few of the matters raised have been dealt with or are in the planning process. To this day, hon Minister, there is no talk of or policy to involve the recipients of subsidised housing before the houses are built. The department continues to treat recipients as passive recipients whose only job is to say thank you.
During my visit to communities across the country, people accepted that the government could not build houses for everyone. They accept that they must play an active role in building their own homes. I was in Soweto during an oversight visit a few weeks ago. Residents who stay in backrooms asked me if there was a possibility of getting a piece of land to build their own houses. Of the land acquired by the HousingDevelopment Agencyfor human settlement purposes, very little land acquired is given directly to the people to build their own houses. To paraphrase a leader whom many South Africans admire, speaking on the topic of corruption - and you will know this person, hon Minister - he said that in this government, a project is only thought of after a list of tender beneficiaries have been identified. Until such beneficiaries have been identified, there is no project.
Could it be that the land acquired by the HDA is primarily earmarked for the building of houses because some tenderpreneurs have to benefit? What we are asking for, hon Minister, is that well-located land that has been acquired by the HDA be serviced and given to people to build their own houses.
In the budget debate last year, I raised the issue of housing units that had been built in Soweto as part of hostel upgrades and were standing empty. To this day these units are still empty. On Monday, residents of Diepkloof had service delivery protests. They were asking to be allocated the units that have been standing empty for more than five years. To this day, there is no urgency to resolve this matter. We are, in fact, spending more money hiring security companies to guard against the invasion of these units instead of allocating them to the people. Many of the hostels across the country need special attention to restore them to a dignified, habitable condition.
In the budget for the department, the upgrading of 750 000 informal settlements by 2019 is set as a target. The target itself is a noble one, but it remains vague on what exactly an upgraded informal settlement should look like. When I visited Nkaneng informal settlement in Marikana four weeks ago, community members told me that very little has changed since President Zuma announced the Special Presidential Package for Distressed Mining Towns. They told me that the only thing that has happened in the settlement is the installation of high mast lights. According to the record of an officialin the department, the informal settlement has been upgraded. How can this be?
According to residents, the water supply continues to be unreliable and on many occasions water from their taps is brown in colour. The roads are muddy and sewage has been flowing through the streets, posing a major risk to both adults and children.
In answer to my question regarding the Special Investigating Unit’s probe into allegations of fraud and corruption, the Minister said that no department official or contractor has been referred for criminal investigation. Despite the billions of rands being spent on the rectification of shoddily built houses, the Special Investigating Unit simply cannot find anything. The Free State government spent R330 000 to repair a single house that cost R150 000 to build. Once again, the SIU and the department see nothing wrong with it. No official is brought to book. It is business as usual.
Minister Sisulu’s latest announcement that the national department will be moving to Nelson Mandela Bay to assist with housing delivery is nothing more than an election tactic by the ANC. The time for politicking is over. People are fed up with waiting for the ANC to deliver on their mandate. When announcing this intervention, the Minister did not mention anything about taking action against current department officials who get paid every month but fail to perform.
I want to take some time to answer some of the issues raised by the Minister and the chairperson of the committee. Chairperson, when you were speaking about the City of Cape Town, I think you forgot to mention that in the meeting you had with Gauteng... [Interjections.] She must listen, Chair. She forgot to mention that the Gauteng metros combined failed to spend R3,4 billion of their Urban Settlements Development Grant budget. You come here and say that Cape Town failed to spend R100 million, but you forget that the metros in Gauteng have failed to spend R3,4 billion.
Hon Minister, regarding your statement that you want to abolish hostels, I do hope that you have had interactions with the hostel dwellers themselves. We do not want to see units takingseven to eight years to build. The hon Memezi will know - he was a member of the executive council of the province then. They were built before it was thought that he would be an MEC. He became an MEC, he was released of his duties and today he is a Member of Parliament - but the houses are still empty. In fact, they were built when hon NomvulaMokonyane was the MEC. To this day those houses at Diepkloof, Meadowlands and Mzimhlophe are still empty. Let us make sure that when we build houses we involve the hostel dwellers.
In conclusion, hon Minister, I want to make a proposal to you. The DA believes that the time is right for us to review the upper income range for people to qualify for social housing. The R7 500 of 2005 is not equal to the R7 500 of 2015. The rental costs are going up each year, but the income range is not being changed. People are unable to afford the rental payments as the cost of living is continuously on the rise due to our poorly performing economy.
I have to say that the department’s budget is nothing but... [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms P NTOBONGWANA
Mr M GANA
Ms P NTOBONGWANA: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Human Settlements, the EFF rejects Budget Vote 38. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework prioritises the delivery of 1,5 million housing opportunities in the next five years but the urban housing backlog alone stands at about 1,5 million and is growing at a rate of 178 000 units per year. This means that even if 1,5 million houses were built in 2012, at least 1 million families will still be without houses.
But let us begin by stating firmly and clearly that a housing opportunity is not a house. As defined, a housing opportunity is a plot of land with only access to either water or electricity but without a house. It cannot house a family.
Secondly, there is no free housing for the poor in this country. Government’s policy has varied over the years and only those earning less than R3 500 per month - with some exceptions, such as the elderly and disabled - are given houses completely free of charge. This is despite the fact that the right to housing is protected in the Constitution.
Fulfilling this constitutional right to housing requires adequate and available land, as well as appropriate services such as the provision of water and the removal of sewage, which is not the case in Thembalihle,Lenasia and in Loli 2 in Johannesburg, where a 92-year-old mama, Joyce Nyoni, applied for a house in 1996. Today she is told by municipal officials and politicians that she is too old to have a house.
Adequate housing can only be possible if the state expropriates land without compensation for the benefit of the majority of the people to have adequate housing. Black people in Gugulethu, Langa, Nyanga and in Tsietsi, who literally live on top of each other, do not have proper houses, toilets or clean drinking water. Our people, like the 92-year-old mama Joyce Nyoni from Thembalihle in Lenasia, was told by corrupt officials that she was too old to have a house, while many are told that they are on waiting lists to get free housing, but it has been more than 10 years.
The truth of the matter is that there are no waiting lists. Instead there are a range of highly differentiated and sometimes contradictory policies and systems in place to respond to the housing needs of our people. The Minister herself was quoted as saying that people under the age of 40 cannot get houses and should continue to be hobos.[Interjections.] This is not what the Constitution says. Moreover, how are we expected to approve R290 million to upgrade informal settlements? Informal settlements cannot be upgraded; they should be replaced with more humane settlements in which our people can live in clean and safe environments.Approving this budget would be approving the hobo status of many of our people who live in shacks without clean drinking water, sanitation and services.
Government must subsidise housing finance for middle income earners … [Interjections.] … and pass laws that would lead to the reduction ofhousing loans of 20 to 30 years to a maximum of 10 years. It must be made illegal for banks to repossess the houses of people who have paid at least 50% of bonds because the state will have to end up housing more people.
Since 1994 the ANC government has maintained the racist apartheid spatial housing development by building inadequate structures for our people. The blacks are poor in the townships, whereas the rich and whites live in the towns. Since 1994 government claims to have created 4 million housing opportunities ... [Time expired.]
Ms D CARTER
Ms P NTOBONGWANA
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, the term “human settlement” is an integrative concept. On the one hand, it comprises physical components of shelter and infrastructure. On the other, it includes community services such as education, health, culture, welfare, recreation and nutrition. Human settlements must provide for all the social, material, economic, organisational, spiritual and cultural elements that sustain community life. Nutritional needs, most importantly, must find priority inclusion in the planning and construction of housing. The lack of imagination has given us houses but unfortunately it has not given us human settlements.
The construction of new public housing is a core responsibility of government. It ensures, primarily, that we do not fail the poor. At the same time, it acts, if correctly done, as a stimulus to the economy. Government attempts thus far were failures rather than successes. This was through poor policy choices – with respect - and rampant corruption, as agreed. What the government builds has created problems rather than genuine solutions. New homeowners unfortunately experience distress and often sell up and move back to their shacks. The same has happened with new farm owners. Instead of ending poverty, it entrenches it or relocates it. Housing must address the fundamental factors inherent in the concept “human settlement”. Housing without jobs is like having cars without money for petrol or even to service the vehicle. The same goes for a farm without fertiliser, seed or machinery.
New housing must elevate neighbourhoods and not undermine them. Such projects must encourage independence and not dependency. Most importantly, new homeowners need to be able to borrow money cheaply to maintain and improve their newly given houses. That is why Cope believes in the need for government to establish a micro lender to support new homeowners. Without such support, buildings degenerate rapidly and fall into decay. Every house should also have adequate place for a garden and a foundation must be in place for the family to extend their basic house to accommodate their family needs. Every house must have room to grow as the family grows. This is fundamental.
Today we see the triumph of apartheid-era planning even in our new dispensation, which is sad. Townships dwellers are still creatures of segregation and they are removed from city centres. There is no integrated housing and there is no movement closer to the city or town centre. The division of yesteryear remains and this is really sad. Cope has also consistently urged government to support cohousing. Building new communities before constructing houses will solve a whole host of problems.
Cohousing is a type of intentional, collaborative housing. At the outset, people come together to constitute a community they seek. They therefore consciously commit to live as a vibrant community. They then actively participate in the design and building of their houses. I thank you. [Time expires.]
Mr M L SHELEMBE
Ms D CARTER
Mr M L SHELEMBE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, Deputy Minister and hon members, the NFP, having considered the obligation placed on the state to provide access to adequate housing to its citizens, welcomes the budget of R30 943 billion allocated to the Department of Human Settlements to carry out its mandate. This is to determine, finance, promote, co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of Human Settlements development and housing policy in order to achieve the target of 1,5 million housing opportunities between 2014-19.
Hon members, the Human Settlements Budget Vote, Vote 38, for the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and annual performance plan has been well prepared. However, the NFP is very concerned that the report of the Auditor-General has shown that a number of planned targets did not meet the SMART criteria as required by the National Treasury’s framework for strategic plans and annual performance plans. We are also concerned about the number of vacancies in key positions in the Strategic Planning Unit; the number of incomplete projects and that the department has no clear plans to unblock them; the continuous mushrooming of informal settlements in metros and municipalities; and the delay in kickstarting housing project due to the lack of co-operation among provinces, districts and local municipalities when prioritising their projects.
Isibonelo nje esifishane, kunephrojekthi e-Mimosadale Phase 2, inombolo yayo ithi K11120003 kumasipala waseMtshezi lapho kwaphasiswa khona iphrojekthi ngowezi-2010. Yathulwa inkontileka kodwa akwenzeki lutho, kukhonjwana ngeminwe nje phakathi kwesifundazwe, isifunda kanye nomasipala. Uma lezi zinto zingalungiswa ngeke lifezeke iphupho lokuthi kube nezindlu eziyisigidi esisodwa nesigamu.
Hon members, it is not the first time that we experience these problems in the department. This has caused suffering for thousands of homeless people who could have accessed housing opportunities if the department were performing as per the National Development Plan.
The target of 1,5 million housing opportunities will not be achieved if nonperforming provinces are not capacitated, especially in Limpopo. Our visit to Limpopo as the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements proved to us that officials from the province and the municipalities were not well capacitated to accelerate the service delivery of housing opportunities in terms of an outcomes-based performance approach.
Iqiniso ukuthi imali engaphezu kwesigidigidi laphaya e-Limpopo abantu bagcine bengayitholanga ngenxa nje yokubanga amathenda.
It is very disappointing that the Programme Management Unit has been allocated R169,98 million and of that amount R73,7 million goes to consultants and professional services to support ... [Time expired.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
Mr M L SHELEMBE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, Minister LindiweSisulu, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MECs, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, hon NocaweMafu, hon Members of Parliament and honoured guests, I greet you this afternoon. Allow me also to greet the senior managers of Human Settlements, led by Director-General Thabane Zulu, including the chairs and chief executive officersof our housing institutions.
Chairperson, allow me to respond to Gana … [Interjections.] MrGana. [Interjections.] Hon Gana. It is a pity that he is not here. He must familiarise himself with housing policy, as the process has evolved. We have moved away from “project leaked housing delivery”. The process of getting lists before a project is started - we moved away from that long ago. He must learn.
In this important debate we pride ourselves on the progress we have made on this journey towards integrated, sustainable and quality homes. The increase in number in terms of houses built across South Africa shows our determination to meet the target of 1,5 million houses by 2019.
Notwithstanding the impressive delivery gains we have achieved, there is widespread acknowledgement that much more can be achieved to accelerate human settlements delivery in a manner that harnesses the creative abilities and skills of ordinary citizens.
Despite the coherent policy framework embodied in the Breaking New Ground approach, there is also significant work being done to develop models of best practice for more effective project and programme management. The National Development Plan maintains:
It is impossible to develop and maintain a sustainable human settlement in a participatory way if communities are disorganised and fractured, and if they have little confidence in their municipalities.
It is therefore critical that managers and practitioners in the human settlements sector, within the three spheres, have the capacity to ensure that communities are capacitated to participate in the development of their communities. These managers and practitioners must be able to set up systems and transfer skills to these communities for the nurturing of an active citizenship and enhanced citizen capabilities. It is paramount that this new cadre of civil servants must adhere to a high level of integrity and that they are committed to serving the community. He or she must have the culture of a cadre who is willing to go the extra mile in serving the needs of the community.
The protests that we have seen happening in our communities, particularly around housing, speaks to the issue of social distance and the alienation of ordinary citizens.
The lack of capacity in the human settlement sector has been identified as an area of weakness that needs focused attention, in line with the departmental shift from housing to human settlements. It is for this reason that the Department of Human Settlements developed a strategy that places the professionalisation of the sector and technical skills development in human settlements as one of the key interventions identified to develop capacity.
The department has embarked on an aggressive capacity-building programme for its officials within the three spheres of government, in partnership with institutions of higher learning, as the Minister also mentioned. We are excited about the progress we are making at Nelson Mandela University.
The Department of Human Settlements and the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Governance have partnered in the development and implementation of a certificate programmetargeted at housing officials whose main responsibilities are around project management, housing planning, service delivery and policy development. I had the opportunity to attend one of its graduation events. The Minister also had the opportunity to attend a graduation at the Mangosuthu University of Technology.
We are also in partnership with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CPUT, whose model is work-integrated learning. It is an educational model that combines classroom learning with practical experience in the workplace. Students build People’s Housing Process, PHP, houses and then go back to the classroom.
As government we are proud of the fact that these institutions of higher learning are able to play such a critical role in the area of human settlements. To ensure that youth participation is implemented in Human Settlements programmes, the Minister hosted a national youth summit, together with the Department of Small Business Development and the Presidency. The summit was attended by the leadership of youth formations and stakeholders targeted at empowering young people. The call was made to the youth to actively participate in the implementation of social contracts for the development of sustainable human settlements.
The Youth Brigade has been spoken about at length and I am glad that the National Home Builders Registration Council is providing the training to this brigade.
Women and the youth are pillars in any society in the world and by empowering them we radically change our economic environment by creating skilled, employable and self-sustainable individuals. The Department of Human Settlements is working on a range of measures that are geared towards supporting women in human settlements and emerging contractors in the housing sector. These measures will look at addressing issues such as access to bridging finance, credit, lack of skills and lack of supportive institutional arrangements within the human settlement’s value chain, as well as address the inability of women contractors to access the 30% set aside in provinces.
The NHBRC has trained a total of 20 women. These women were trained by the Gordon Institute of Business Science. I had an opportunity to meet these courageous women on International Women’s Day. The Minister directed the NHBRC to add 80 women for training. This training affords women an opportunity to develop business leadership and entrepreneurial skills. This event was also attended by MrGqwetha, the managing director of the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency, Nurcha.
We will continue to partner with the SA Women in Construction Agency and other women in the building of houses. Women Build has been successful in creating awareness of the critical role played by women in housing construction. All provinces must embark on this programme.
The Enhanced People’s Housing Processis aimed at creating an opportunity for ordinary citizens to partner with government. In this programme there is demonstrable evidence that the communities do not want to be passive recipients of government’s delivery but they want to be active participants. They want to be part of the change they see in society.
People are encouraged to save and build houses for one another. The houses that are built through PHP are of a good quality and are much bigger than what government provides. It is unfortunate that not all officials embrace this route as it is perceived to be slower than the developer-driven approach. Minister, I think there is a need to fast-track the Human Settlements Co-operative Housing Policy as a response to government’s call for establishing, supporting and partnering with co-operatives in the delivery of services. What is most important with regard to PHP is that these houses are never sold, there is no confusion about the allocation criteria and it builds social cohesion.
Building houses for military veterans is a demonstration of the fact that our freedom was never free. Hence this government will never forget those who have contributed immensely in bringing about this democracy we enjoy today. I am also happy to report that last year this department handed over a house to Mama Kotane in Fleurhof. The provision of houses ... [Interjections.]Yes, to Mama Kotane in Fleurhof. [Interjections.]Hayisuka![Interjections.][Laughter.]
The provision of houses to military veteransis spearheaded by the Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Military Veterans. [Interjections.]
Mr J J MC GLUWA: Chair, on a point of order.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Deputy Minister, let us take a point of order.
Mr J J MC GLUWA: Chairperson, is it parliamentary to say “hayisuka” in Parliament? [Interjections.] I gather it is not.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Continue, hon Deputy Minister.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: It is heart-warming that as government we are making inroads into the transformation of the property market for the better, as led by Remax. We hope that other estate agencies will follow suit.[Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Just hold on, hon Deputy Minister. Hon member, do you want to ...
Mr T W MHLONGO: May I ask the Deputy Minister a question? [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: No, no! We are pleased to announce that the African Union has established a specialised technical committee of Ministers. The last meeting was held in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo. South Africa is a member of the bureau. Our goal is to ensure that Africa adopts a charter on human settlements.
In April we attended the UN-Habitat Governing Council in Kenya. One of the major outcomes during deliberations is the adoption of international guidelines for territorial and urban planning. Plans are advanced in preparation for the UN-Habitat 111 Conference in Ecuador, in 2016.
We are continuing our work with our international partners such as UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance, the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum, Ibsa; Cuba, Denmark and the Netherlands to learn from their best practices. [Applause.]
Ms V BAM-MUGWANYA
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
Nks V BAM-MUGWANYA: Sihlalo, Mphathiswa wezokuHlaliswa koLuntu, ohloniphekileyo uLindiwe Sisulu, uSekela Mphathiswa uZoe Kota-Fredericks, amalungu ahloniphekileyo, abasebenzi beSebe lezokuHlaliswa koLuntu, manene namanenekazi, ndiyanibulisa ngale njikalanga. Apha ndize kuxhasa iVoti yoHlahlo-lwabiwo-mali yama-38 lweSebe lezokuHlaliswa koLuntu. Ndize kungqina ... [Kwahlekwa.] ... ndisekela le ngxoxo xa ndiza kulanda ngentsusa yoqulo noqulunqu lwezigqibo nomnqophiso owenziwa mhla kwaqingqiswa uMqolo wamaLungelo oLuntu eKliptown ngowe-1955.
Ngokwesigqibo nomnqophiso woMqulu wamaLungelo oLuntu kwavunyelwana ngokuba kwezo meko zengcinezelo yabantsundu kwabakho isiqinisekiso esithi kulilungelo ukuba abantu babe nezindlu, ukhuseleko kunye nobuntofontofo. Kungoke ke uKhongolose akungena ezintanjeni ngowe-1994 waseka iSebe lezokuHlaliswa koLuntu nemithetho elawula oko.
I-ANC uthe gqolo ukuncothula neengcambu ucalucalulo ngokweendawo zokuhlala olwasenziwa ngoorhulumente bamandulo. Kungoko ke ndiza kutyatyadula ngale mitsi uKhongolose ayithathayo kweli Sebe lokuHlaliswa koLuntu minyaka le ukuqinisekisa ukuba abantu bakhelwa izindlu zodidi oluncomekayo kwisigaba esithile esibafaneleyo apha eMzantsi Afrika. Ndigxininisa ngelithi nabo basematyotyombeni bayaphuculelwa kwaye baneziqinisekiso zobuninimzi.
Ewe, iyanyevulelwa ingcikivwa intlalo yasematyotyombeni kodwa uluntu lunga lungaqaphela lukhumbule ukuba intlalo yasematyotyombeni sisiphumo sengcinezelo yangaphambili, ingakumbi eyonyaka we-1913 yokohluthwa kwemihlaba eyenziwa yintlupheko naxa kuzingelwa amathuba engqesho ngabantu ababaleka indlala emaphandleni abharhileyo.
Azindindi ngeendidi ke nawo nangona kungelula ukuwabopha ngentambo enye amatyotyombe la.
Informal settlements are highly differentiated in terms of location, levels of vulnerability and social structures. The generalisation of their solutions is not viable as it would be most cost intensive. The ANC asserted in its January 8 statement of 2014 that:
Bold programmes will be implemented to promote better located mixed income housing projects, improving housing conditions for the poor in all informal settlements and unlocking well-located land, especially state land, for affordable housing.
Amongst these are the provision of one million housing opportunities for qualifying households over the next 5 years, promoting integrated public transport and accelerating the roll-out of sanitation infrastructure in rural areas and informal settlements.
This will be accompanied by the further provision of basic services and infrastructure in existing informal settlements and connecting additional homes to the electricity grid.
The ANC further committed to accelerating“the provision of basic services and infrastructure in all existing informal settlements” and to fulfil the 2014 election manifesto of “A better life for all” and “Together we move South Africa forward”.
The legacy of separate development, division and exclusion, which past governments of the apartheid regime enforced, has to be defeated and obliterated. The legacy of apartheid spatial patterns and the changes of rapid urbanisation must be dealt with through integrated urban development. Over the years since the democratic breakthrough, the ANC has built free houses for the poor. The ANC has undertaken to improve living conditions through theprogrammes of the Department of Human Settlements. In this regard, informal settlements must be formalised, upgraded and basic services must be provided to them. They are in the process.
However, the eradication of informal settlements and the bucket system remain critical for the improvement of the lives of some South Africans. In the next five years, the ANC, through the Department of Human Settlements, will continue to expand access to housing and integrated human settlements and the expansion of access to water, sanitation and electricity through the informal settlements upgrading programme. There are no quick fixes for spatial transformation but careful consideration of how and where we build infrastructure and housing could change the trajectories of spatial development and make considerable gains for ordinary citizens and the national economy.
The ANC-led government, despite all the challenges it has been confronted with since its assumption of power, has made considerable strides in the development of holistic human settlements. This is a Breaking New Ground project, which the Minister alluded to earlier on. These projects include the N2 Gateway, Vulindlela settlement and Cosmo City, to mention but a few. What a good story!
According to Census 2011 data, there is vivid indication that the number of households living in shacks has stabilised nationally through the provinces. On average, those shack dwellers registered in Census 2011 are recorded to have upgraded from 2001 into better dwellings. By far the most significant improvement has been access to electricity. The 2001 census data reveals that 37% of households in shacks had electricity and in 2011 the percentage had increased to 43%, although a significant number upgraded from shacks to improved housing - free housing, at that. What manna from the ANC![Interjections.]
Outcome 8 recognises that informal settlements provide land and urban opportunities for the poor, but implementation remains slow. In terms of the progress report of the MTSF 2014-19, it has been noted that one of the key challenges when it came to sustainable human settlements is the weak performance in the upgrading of informal settlements.
It has been proposed that the National Upgrading Support Programme, NUSP, must integrate its support with the extended People’s Housing Project and the metro’s informal settlement upgrading, using the SettlementsDevelopment Programme, USDP, to accelerate delivery and correct the slow delivery. The National Development Plannotes:
The informal settlement upgrading programme will be scaled up and a more coherent, multisegmented social rental housing programmes, which includes backyard rentals, be put in place.
Now, let me talk about title deeds. The elimination of the title deeds backlog remains a colossal challenge and contributes to informal sales and the undermining of the integrity of the entire Deeds Registry system. The relevant government spheres will eliminate the backlog of title deeds. New homeowners on the subsidy market will be issued with the title deeds on legal occupation per genuine and approved lists.
The ANC government has also made some advances in ensuring the secondary property market, as suggested by the Breaking New Groundprogramme. Having said that, I will say ...
... kubantu abakule ngxubakaxaka yokungabinazo iitayitile zezindlu zabo, urhulumente kunye neSebe lezokuHlaliswa koLuntu baza kubabonelela. Ukulinda kunomvuzo. Enkosi.
I support the Budget Vote.
Mr K P SITHOLE
Ms V BAM-MUGWANYA
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, there are still many South Africans living in filth and squalor in informal settlements, with little or no access to basic services. Many of our hostels remain in conditions that are not fit for livestock. They are overcrowded and in critical need of maintenance - but there is still no budget for this.
Okusekungiphazamisa kakhulu Ngqongqoshe ukuthi ekomidini awuzange ukhulume ngokuqedwa kwamahostela; namhlanje usuzokumemezela lapha ukuthi kuzoqedwa amahostela. [Uhleko.] Kusho ukuthi yingakho-ke la mahostela angabi naso isabiwomali sokuwasiza. Ngifuna futhi ukukhumbuza uNgqongqoshe ukuthi kunabantu abayishumi nanye abashone eKagiso ngenxa yokwehluleka komnyango ukuthi abantu babuyiselwe ezindaweni zabo.
Backyard dwellers are also on the increase, with some homes having 50 people living on a small property in a very confined space, without access to basic services. These are the real problems and challenges that confront many South Africans today with regard to basic services.
To a large extent the problem arises at provincial level, with provinces failing to plan adequately for human settlements. The department has shifted money from Limpopo to other provinces due to the lack of adequate planning by the Limpopo province and its failure to use its budget. Gauteng does not spend its entire allocation from Treasury, which is shocking, especially since informal settlements are mushrooming around the province.
Local government also experiences a great divide in Human Settlements service delivery between municipalities that are accredited and those that are not, and the capacitation of officials remains a challenge. The department needs to focus on capacitating municipalities because most of them are using the grants improperly. This is associated with a lack of understanding of the purpose for which the grant exists.
Government says, “we are doing well” and “we can”. We say, no, you are not doing enough and you can do better. This department can do better and this is the kind of culture that we would like to see developed here - a culture in which every rand spent is well spent; a culture of accountability and quality service delivery. We think the officials in the department are much more focused on doing things right than the political head. Given more space to perform, they can achieve the objectives of departmental evolution and the way the department conducts its business.
Qualitative targets must be met and achieved. This largely starts and ends with the eradication of cronyism and tenderpreneurship from the supply chain management process with regard to the awarding of tenders.
Inconsistencies between strategic and annual performance plans must continue to be monitored and narrowed. In this regard, the placing of control measures, which include branch and programme managers being required to prepare reports on the progress and achievement of planned indicators and targets, are very welcome and to be commended.
Sihlalo ohloniphekile, sithi uma sifuna umnyango uhambe kahle uqhubekele phambili kuzofanele ukuthi sonke sisebenze ngokubambisana. Sicela nokuthi uNgqongqoshe uma izinto ezozisho la azisho kube kunesiqiniseko sokuthi ikomidi lesiShayamthetho kuZwelonke liyazazi lezo zinto. Ezinye izinto ziyethusa uma uNgqongqoshe esezisho la njengoba kade ezisho nje kodwa ezinye zazo ebe engazange afike nazo ekomidini lesiShayamthetho. Ngaleyo ndlela ngiyabonga Sihlalo.
Mrs C DUDLEY
Mr K P SITHOLE
Mrs C DUDLEY: Chair, the need to deliver housing is as pressing as ever, with an estimated 2,3 million households still in need of suitable living conditions. The ACDP has always maintained that in order to deliver cost-effective and sustainable housing, the skills of communities and individuals will need to be used and that it is important that people and communities take ownership and responsibility for building and maintaining their own homes in partnership with others.
With a steady flow of individuals and families from rural to urban areas in search of work, education and a better life, not only will more and more accommodation be needed but it will need to be planned way more effectively than at present to ensure people are housed where they have access to job opportunities, transport, schools, clinics, shops and other amenities. Municipalities need to be paying far more attention to co-ordinated planning of urban development than they are doing at present.
The ACDP is particularly concerned about the provision of special housing. We are aware that nongovernmental organisations and civil society have been advocating for more than 15 years for capital funding to be made available to nonprofit organizations for the provision of group housing for low-income people with special care needs. That Special Needs Group Housing Policy research and policy development process was initiated in 2014.
The draft and financial model for the Special Needs Group Housing Policy programme that was finalised early this year, which includes foster care homes, homes for elderly people and people with disabilities, shelters for victims of abuse and the homeless, was enthusiastically received by relevant departments, NGOs, civil society organisationsand beneficiaries. Now, hon Minister, as far as they see it, the ball seems to be in your court.
It is our understanding that the Department of Human Settlements is constitutionally required to implement housing programmes and make capital funding available for special housing needs. The department is also by far the best equipped to manage such a programme. What is the status of this programme from the perspective of the department? Stakeholders are eager for things to move forward at a far greater pace so that the desperate people they work with daily – who are fending for themselves in unsuitable conditions – can at last access state housing assistance via NPOs.
Lastly, the issue on most people’s minds is wastage and corruption in the system, which, of course, must be a priority, while government underspending does not help deliver housing either. The ACDP will support this budget, which is crucial in giving people a shot at improving their lives and providing opportunities for their children. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms T E BAKER
Mrs C DUDLEY
Ms T E BAKER: Hon Chairperson, hon members and guests, good afternoon. Minister, I think I have a more appropriate title or theme for your speech: Doing less with more. You see, for any plan to be successful it must be implementable and measurable. Sadly, the Department of Human Settlements leaves much to be desired in both these areas. Nondelivery and underspending ... [Interjections.] Listen! Nondelivery and underspendingare the two hurdles that this department still needs to overcome in order to achieve its target of creating 270 000 housing opportunities per year, considering that delivery has declined by 25% over the last five years, despite the budget allocation almost doubling.
There are a number of reasons the department provides for this poor performance, namely the escalating building costs - agreed, there is the huge increases in the cost of bulk services that is water and electricity – and of course the 36,1% unemployment rate does not help the situation at all.
However, there are a number of other factors at play here. At the heart of this is the lack of effective monitoring and evaluation of projects in all provinces, as highlighted by the Financial and Fiscal Commission and the Auditor-General over and over, year after year, since 2009. The lack of effective management is a systemic problem, starting right at the top with the Ministry and trickling all the way down to local government level.
Minister, you spoke about having built a strong foundation. Twenty-one years into democracy I think the walls should have been built by now, ready for the roof to go on. Limpopo and Mpumalanga clearly lead the pack of underperformers, with Limpopo, as hon Sithole mentioned, losing R500 million of its Human Settlements Development Grant funding during the last financial year due to its inability to spend this money. Clearly drastic intervention measures are necessary to prevent any further damage to this already crippled province.
Sadly, the people of Limpopo must suffer due to this and the forfeited R500 million was reallocated to the Eastern Cape, another underperformer of note. I questioned the ability of the Eastern Cape to spend these additional funds, given its track record. In Nelson Mandela Bay, for example, the metro underspent its Urban Settlements Development Grant by a staggering 52%. Meanwhile, metros that are capable and ready to directly address the housing needs of its citizens, like the City of Cape Town, are being hamstrung by the national department. [Interjections.]
This budget sees a reduction of the Municipal Human Settlements Capacity Grant over three years. This is meant to capacitate capable metros to take responsibility for housing delivery. This has had a massive impact on the ability of all metros to plan for projects. Credible waiting lists are nonexistent in most provinces, unlike in the DA-run City of Cape Town, where a successful online application system has been implemented, with over 3 000 people already using the system since its inception in November 2014.
Hon Mafu, you are right; the struggle is still on, but the DA offers a very simple solution for what appears to be a complex situation: Improved monitoring equals greater accountability equals delivery of more housing opportunities for our people.
What about addressing the 900 000 title deeds backlog that hon Bam referred to? How are we to achieve this target of wealth creation and the restoration of the dignity of our people through the acquisition of property if we cannot even issue homeowners with the title deeds to their properties?
I appreciate the Deputy Minister’s reference to the National Development Plan but, unfortunately, the success of chapter 8 of the NDP hinges on5% economic growth, while we have a current growth rate of under 2%. This is just a pipe dream. You see, hon Mafu, your government should actually be implementing measures to boost the economy, not conquer it. [Interjections.] It does not matter. You see, hon Minister, I suggest you get your house in order because the DA is coming. [Interjections.] Nelson Mandela Bay metro, ...
Afrikaans: 15H44 48
... blykalm. Die DA is oppad. [... stay calm. The DA is coming.]
Gauteng, relax ...
... i-DA iyeza.[Ihlombe.]
Mr N CAPA
Ms T E BAKER
Mr N CAPA: Hon Chair, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we will keep on reiterating that our people made a commitment 60 years ago in Kliptown that all shall have the right to live where they choose and to bring up their families in comfort and security.
Further noting the conditions under which apartheid was operating, the people resolved that slums shall be abolished and replaced with new settlements that will have transport and social facilities. In line with these, we made commitments to our people who voted us into power that we shall ensure that all South Africans have access to adequate human settlements and quality living conditions through programmes that provide 1,5 million housing opportunities.
The people have also voted us into power on the basis that we are going to implement the provision of decent human settlements. That puts the issue of human settlements centre stage in the development path. Therefore ...
... ke asithethi izinto zomqala wethu apha, sithetha izinto ezifunwa ngabantu./ sithetha ngezinto ezifunwa ngabantu.
Let us always remember that in this process, we are addressing the evils of the apartheid legacy.
Siya kumane simkhwaza ke loo mtyholi ukuze athi ukuba akafanga ulele amane ephakamisa intloko simbethe.
This legacy has left distressed mining towns that are characterised by wide-scale informal settlements. These mining towns require a diverse range of solutions because of the diverse needs of the people who reside there. These solutions include the upgrading of the informal settlements and hostels.
In his state of the nation address, His Excellency the President made a proclamation that mining towns would be prioritised and revitalised. He further committed that an amount of money would be allocated to revitalise the towns and upgrade the informal settlements in mining provinces such as Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Free State. Remember, in October 2012, the Special Presidential Package was introduced by the President to holistically address all the challenges faced by mineworkers and mining communities in collaboration with mining companies and labour.
The interministerial committee that was established to revitalise distressed mining towns has mobilised municipalities to review their integrated development plans in order to pave the way for bringing about sustainable human settlements in the mining towns. However, this department and the ANC engaged in this task, fully knowing that ...
... inde le ndlela esiyihambayo.
It is significant to note that, in this same process, we have to address the issue of the apartheid legacy once more, …
... ukuze umtyholi oza kuphakamisa intloko simkhwitshe -
The legacy of single-sex hostels to accommodate workers were characterised as undignified and inhuman and it caused long-term negative social consequences and kept families apart. These hostels were not meant to keep our people in dignity. Imagine one hostel room accommodating 12 to 50 people.
It is therefore evident that since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, we have been engaged, particularly in upgrading the hostels. The ANC and its government is paying attention to improving the lives of the hostel dwellers.
Utata uSithole bendifuna enze umahluko okanye ohlule ukuba ...
... when you upgrade them, they stop being hostels, therefore you abolish them. In this case, abolishing and upgrading will mean the same.
The Department of Human Settlements has embarked on a programme called the Community Residential Units programme. This programme is geared towards bringing dignity to hostels across the country, changing them from being accommodation only for males who provide cheap labour.This CRU programme seeks to convert these single hostels into units where an individual will be able to share a living space with their family.
Community Residential Units aim to facilitate the provision of secure rental housing. In its entirety, the comprehensive plan, called Breaking New Ground and approved by Cabinet in 2004, seeks to address poverty, inequality and unemployment;to improve economic growth and the quality of life of the poor; and to create an asset for the poor. In terms of this plan, housing is seen as a catalyst for achieving a set of broader socioeconomic goals, including in the mining towns and upgraded hostels. Most importantly, this plan seeks to achieve the noble objective of establishing sustainable human settlements in South Africa.
Thina sithi siyayixhasa le Voti yoHlahlo-lwabiwo mali. Andazi ke umama uNtobongwana kuba ebengabonakali iintsuku zonke kwikomiti ebefanele ukuhlala kuyo. Ufanele ke ukungayixhasi. UGana ke yena ungxamele ukuya kufika phaya eBhayi.
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, on a point of order.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Capa, please, take a seat. Hon member, what is your point of order?
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, with all due respect, the member could not attend because she was sick ... [Interjections.] ... because the police beat her up here in this Parliament. The chairperson is aware of this; the member got several letters from the doctor. She was beaten up by police, ordered by the Speaker, in this very same Parliament. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Thank you. That is not a point of order. Yes, hon member.
Mr T W MHLONGO: Hon Chair, it is the “hon Gana”, not “Gana”. Hon member, please refrain from calling us by our first names. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon member, let us ...
Mr M S MBATHA: Hon Chair, may I address you?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): In terms of what Rule?
Mnu M S MBATHA: Asime kancane ngoMthetho, Sihlalo, kuyonakala.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): No, no.
Mnu M S MBATHA: Asime kancane, kuyonakala, Sihlalo. [Ubuwelewele.]
Our members were beaten up here ... [Interjections.] ... and they are still going to doctors for check-ups - and ANC members on the other side are celebrating![Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon member ...
Mhlonishwa, hlala phansi.
Mr N CAPA: Hon Chair, let me conclude by saying we support this Budget Vote. Hon Minister, you should know that you are a government in running and a government in action. There is a government in waiting. They must keep on waiting. I thank you. [Interjections.][Applause.]
Mnu S M GANA: Ngicela isikhathi.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Gana, leave the Minister alone. Hon Gana, allow the Minister to speak. You have the floor, Minister.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS
Mr N CAPA
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: I want to start with very good news. Yesterday, of 22 local government by-elections in five provinces, the ANC won 19 wards hands down! [Applause.] The loudmouth DA, which says it is a government in waiting, won one.[Laughter.] The EFF won nothing. Please allow me to continue. I want to thank ... [Interjections.]
Nk M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo wami ohloniphekile, bengicela ungikhuzele bona ngoba angizile ukuzodlala la. Le nto engikhulum angayo ngiyayazi. UNgqongqoshe lo, akuyena owabo; owezwe lonke. Umbuzo wami la kuNgqongqoshe, ngake ngambhalela incwadi! [Ubuwelewele.] Angizukusuka-ke la.
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu M R Mdakane): Cha mhlonishwa Khawula, ngizama ukusiza wena. UNgqongqoshe useyayisonga le nkulumo. Mhlawumbe kuzothi uma sekusemakodini uthole ithuba lokubuza imibuzo.
Nk M S KHAWULA: Cha Sihlalo wami, ngenhlonipho enkulu nje ... [Ubuwelewele.] ... ngifuna ukwazi ukuthi emakhaya kungani intuthuko yakhona maqondana nezindlu ingafani neyasemadolobheni, izicabha zingamagogogo, uphahla alukho? [Ubuwelewele.] Ngibuzela la bantu bemijondolo, bayohlala khona kuze kuthini? [Ubuwelewele.] Okwesibili, abantu abahlala koLindela bayohlala koze kube nini? [Ubuwelewele.] Abantu abahlala koKhayelitsha nakoBester, koze kube nini? [Ubuwelewele.]
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu M R Mdakane): Mhlonishwa Khawula, ngizama ukukukhipha odakeni; wena uzifaka odakeni ngamabomu! Ngiyakusiza wena mhlonishwa uKhawula.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Chairperson, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister. Deputy Minister, you are the best I could hope for. I would like to thank the very diligent and hardworking chairperson of our portfolio committee and the committee, as well as those members of the committee who had something to say. I am not sure if I heard anything from this side of the House.
Gana - hon Gana - the unfortunate thing with having you speak … [Interjections.]
Mr S M GANA: Chairperson, on a point of order ...
... Mutshamaxitulu, ndzi lava ku kombela ku vutisa eka wena leswaku xana Holobye wa swa Matshamelo ya Vanhu u ta pfumela ku teka xivutiso lexi humaka eka mina kee? Mutshamaxitulu, ndzi kombela ku vutisa eka wena loko Holobye wa swa Matshamelo ya Vanhu a ta teka xivutiso lexi humaka eka mina.
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu M R Mdakane): Cha bahlonishwa, asenzeni ngendlela efanele. Uma uNgqongqoshe esephendula, usonga inkulumpikiswano usuke eseyivala, ngakho-ke akusathathwa mibuzo. Ngiyanicela kakhulu, asenzeni kanjalo. [Ubuwelewele.]
Hon Gana, the Minister is concluding and then the debate will be concluded. It is not right to pose questions now.[Interjections.] No, she is closing the debate. Once a Minister replies and closes a debate, we cannot take questions.
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu M R Mdakane): Mhlonishwa uKhawula, bengisiza wena njengelungu elihloniphekile. [Ubuwelewele.] [Uhleko.] Lalela. Lalela-ke mhlonishwa uKhawula, ake uhlale-ke manje ungahluphi muntu.
Hon Minister, take the floor.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Chair, we have visitors and I wonder what they think of us. I wanted to say that I do pity the hon Gana, because all the issues he had wanted to raise and had already written down had been answered by me. So he had absolutely nothing to contribute. I think the DA deserves the kind of echo that you are in this House. You are the best thing that could happen to them - echoing nothing. [Laughter.] However, hon Gana, I want you to withdraw the lie that you put here about the fact that Gauteng has underspend on its urban settlements development grant by R3,1 billion. That is not true, and I want you to withdraw that.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: It is unparliamentary to accuse another member of lying in this House. I ask that the Minister withdraws that accusation. Thank you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Minister, please withdraw.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: What’s another word for not telling the truth? He lied.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: That is unparliamentary. The Minister is a veteran in this House. She knows that that is unparliamentary and she must withdraw.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Gana, I will allow you to be able to count beyond your 11 fingers. It was not R3,1 billion; it was ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Minister, please withdraw.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Gana did not lie, but he is badly in need of the ability to count.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: A withdrawal must be unconditional; that is the rule in this House. The hon Minister knows what she has done is unparliamentary. She is trying to ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: I withdraw unconditionally and I proceed. Hon Gana did not tell the truth. There is no unspent amount of R3,1 billion in Gauteng and I would like you to correct that.
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, on a point of order: If the hon Minister believes that the hon Gana has misled this House, then she must bring a substantive motion to this House to bring attention to that. She cannot stand at the podium and violate the Rules of Parliament!
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: No.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon members, let us stick to the Rules and let us also allow ourselves to hear the Minister. The Minister has withdrawn; unconditionally withdrawn.
The MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: Hon Chairperson, I am the Minister of Human Settlements. When something is put here that is not true, it must be corrected. That is my responsibility. [Applause.]I am pointing out that the hon Gana has misled the House. It is not true. May I proceed? [Interjections.]
I would like to thank all those hon members, especially from the ANC, who were very constructive in this debate. I would also like to thank all those people who have come to listen to this debate today. I hope they will be partners with us as we go along to make sure that we can provide housing for our people.
Finally, what I would like everybody to take home with them from the speech is that we are doing things differently. We are going to overhaul our tendering processes. We are gradually abolishing the concept of hostels; Human Settlements has an important role in the economic transformation of our country. And we need to realise that, through the education of beneficiaries, there is an asset in the House.
Finally, all those people who made it possible for us to stand here today and say that we are preparing a White Paper should look at us and be proud of what they have put into us, because they seek to replicate what we have done internationally. The position we hold in Human Settlements internationally is of immense importance. No country has achieved what we have achieved in Human Settlements - none. [Applause.]
I would like to thank my hardworking team, the director-general and the deputy director-general, who have pledged to work six days a week instead of five days a week, and I hope that, as we go from strength to strength, we will be the support to the international community that they need. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. [Applause.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Thank you very much, hon Minister. Hon members ...
Cha, Khawula, angithi usuhoxisile? [Ubuwelewele.]
The Committee rose at 16:05.
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