The Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is following a media debate on the housing backlog with keen interest. The Ministry recognizes that given the realities of rapid urbanization and in-migration by those seeking better socio-economic opportunities there will continue to be a housing backlog and for these reasons Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has consistently indicated that we are chasing a moving target.
As we speak informal settlements are estimated at over 3000 across the country and are mainly concentrated in metropolitan areas such as Ethekwini, Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
It is for this reason that these cities are allocated a budget to respond to these informal settlements, through the Informal Settlements Upgrading Programme (ISUP). In her 2020/2021 Budget Vote Speech Minister Sisulu indicated that the Department together with the Provinces: “will work with communities and municipalities to incrementally upgrade over 300 informal settlements and improve living conditions of households”.
Accordingly, R2,4 billion and R2,2 billion was allocated for Provinces and Metros respectively for this purpose.
Since the dawn of democracy, government through the Department of Human Settlements has restored the dignity of millions of indigent South Africans. Our current delivery stats indicate that since 1994, we have delivered over 3 391 264 housing units, 1 237 952 serviced sites and 375 643 Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme (EEDBS).
Minister Sisulu is on record saying that no country in the world has ever matched what South Africa has achieved in delivery of free housing to the poor and indigent. She has also acknowledged that there is still much more that needs to be done.
“The evidence of what we have achieved as a nation in changing the lives of our people is out there for everyone to see. However, we will be happy when we have reached out to everyone, that is our resolve”, said Minister Sisulu.