Bangi Makopo, Co-Founder and Director at Social Housing Initiative Cover and his team recently introduced Low-Cost Housing insurance to South African citizens who own RDP houses. Makopo said “When beneficiaries of low-cost homes suddenly come across loss or damage to their properties, they face a heavy financial burden and this led to the development of Social Housing Initiative Cover (S.H.I.C)”.
Social Housing Initiative Cover (S.H.I.C) offers affordable, low-cost housing insurance to South Africans who qualify for government subsidized housing. S.H.I.C was developed by Kunene Makopo Risk Solutions in partnership with Afribiz Invest. At R100 per month the S.H.I.C insurance cover is affordable for most RDP House owners. This fee covers protection against core property damage, excluding household contents and renovations. Policyholders also have the option to take up additional, affordable cover for household contents, as well as a funeral plan. “We realized that most low-cost home families don’t have access to spare money, so if something goes wrong with their new house, they can’t afford to fix it. And if you don’t maintain a property more things tend to go wrong, and you end up in a negative cycle you can’t escape from”. The cost of the premium is as low as we could possibly make it”, says Makopo.
Government subsidy housing commonly known as RDP house, is a South African socio-economic policy framework that was implemented in 1994 by the African National Congress (ANC). Between 1994 and the start of 2001 over 1.1 million cheap houses eligible for government subsidies had been built, accommodating 5 million of the estimated 12.5 million South Africans without proper housing. The objective of building these houses was to address the immense socio-economic problems brought about by the consequences of the struggle against its predecessors under the Apartheid regime. Government subsidy housing programme has changed the lives of millions of South African families but communities are still sharing their stories of families who experience crippling financial strain after receiving their property.
ANC continues to build homes all over the country but the issue of low-quality buildings is still widely recognized across South Africa. In 2019 Human Settlements Minister, Nomaindia Mfeketo, stated that the government had spent R1.1 billion over the previous five years to repair badly built low-cost Houses. Makopo explained that “There are still a lot of reports from low-cost home owners about the poor quality, with specific mentions of weak walls and roofs” hence we worked very hard to develop a conducive product for South African communities. Since the launch of Social Housing Initiative Cover there have been positive responses from the general public”.