MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works Jomo Sibiya monitors human settlements projects with a budget of over R1 billion in Newcastle Local Municipality.
Newcastle Local Municipality: Last year in November, during the inauguration of councils in various municipalities across the province – I offered to work with municipalities to speed up the rollout of socio-economic infrastructure including human settlements.
Today, I am meeting with the leadership of Newcastle Local Municipality. Speed, efficiency and hard work remains the hallmark of our work during this term of office. This is what we want to share with the local leadership today.
We will receive technical reports detailing progress around the following projects with an investment of over R 1 billion:-
- Johnston, Blaaubosch and Cavan Housing Development Project – Phase 1 with 2518 units.
- Johnston, Blaaubosch and Cavan Housing Development Project – Phase 2 and 3 with 8985 sites
The JBC Housing Development project is packaged to ensure an Integrated Residential Development Project (IRDP) with a focus on delivering service sites for people in the affordable market.
We are also paying special attention towards increasing the supply of middle-income market housing to meet the high demand.
We are moving with speed to complete more than 22 857 rental housing units across the province, which are geared towards affordable Social Housing and Community Residential Units (CRUs).
The Social Housing instrument will yield a total of 16 399 units and the CRU instrument will yield 6 458 units. Our visit to Newcastle must therefore be viewed as part of our efforts aimed at ensuring that we meet our targets.
The N11 CRU and Hospital Street Social Housing Project in Newcastle, with a budget of more than R387 471 436,80, forms part of our determination to expanding our footprint for affordable rental housing beyond the urban centres.
We are playing an active role in terms of stimulating local economic investment by using construction and built environment as a catalyst. We want to prevent the migration of people to bigger cities in search of job opportunities and a better life.
We have ensured the acquisition of skills and jobs for the young people of this area. We want to prepare them to part of efforts to grow the local economy. In the future, they will generate much needed revenue for the local municipality.
Our investments in rural and township areas should be viewed within the context of creating well-paying job opportunities for professionals in the built industry and other sectors of the economy.
We continue to deal decisively with elements that seeks to interfere with housing projects.
We call on communities to stand up against any form of human rights abuse. Access to housing is a basic human right.
We wish to warn other implementing agents that are constructing shoddy houses that we won’t hesitate to act. We will blacklist them and ensure that we recover any cent paid to them.
We appreciate the support, from the national government, through the Minister of Human Settlements Mammakolo Kubayi. She is in support of our efforts aimed at putting to end all practices that results in housing projects that are forever under construction.
We are firm behind a decision of taking away development status from municipalities that are failing to deliver houses to our people.
Critically, corruption associated with the allocation of houses and the overall administration of beneficiary list continue to receive our immediate attention.
We have stated in the past that we will never fold our arms when deserving community members are sidelined by rogue elements that are manipulating processes associated with the compilation of beneficiary list. We will act swiftly against those attempting to stop human settlements projects.
We remain the custodian of the rollout of human settlements – therefore, the bark stops with us. We will never abdicate responsibilities given to us by the members of the public.