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Housing delivery improves in ECape

21 Nov 2008
After a history of challenges in the pace and quality of housing delivery in the Eastern Cape the systems to fast track housing delivery are beginning to show progress, says Director General of Department of Housing, Itumeleng Kotsoane.

The director general was addressing reporters in Port Elizabeth on the progress of housing delivery in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.

Mr Kotsoane said since the approval of the intervention by Cabinet in April the department has been leading a team of officials from various national and provincial departments, municipalities and technical experts to develop sustainable systems to fast track housing delivery in the province.

"We are beginning to see progress in delivery as a whole, but most importantly the three spheres of government are beginning to work with each other better.

"There is better coordination of plans, allocation of resources and joint implementation of projects, and this is very central to sustainable delivery in the coming years" he said.

The specific challenges facing each project have also been identified, he said, adding that appropriate direct measures to address those challenges were in place in order to fast track delivery.

"The National Home Builder Registration Council (NHBRC) has been working very closely with the provincial team and municipal teams to ensure that projects are enrolled and inspected for quality as many times as possible."

The department was also contracting some of the best developers from across the country and locally to ensure that the teams get necessary support they need at all times

The expenditure has improved and continues to advance the pace in which the department appoints contractors and also pay for services required.

The director general said while the total annual expenditure in 2007/8 was R375 million, the department as of October 2008 spent R433 million of the provincial budget.

He said quality houses were being built in projects like the Zanemvula Housing Project, adding that there was also a detailed programme to fix the quality problems and blocked projects in rural areas of Matatiele, Flagstaff, Mount Free and Mount Ayliff.

The Zanemvula project is the biggest housing project in the Eastern Cape and one of the biggest inclusionary housing projects in the country which boosts a capital investment of more than R1 billion.

On Thursday Minister of Housing, Lindiwe Sisulu will be handing over 1000 houses to beneficiaries at Zanemvula.

The project is expected to deliver more than 15 000 units with all basic social and economic amenities providing decent shelter to more than 90 000 people.

Earlier this week the MEC for Housing in the province, Thobile Mhlahlo handed over formal houses to 500 families from the Addo location in Port Elizabeth.

He said the houses delivered were part of a R150 million project that includes various housing projects in Sunday's River Municipality that will see more than 2 300 houses built in the area – By Professor Ndawonde, BuaNews

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