Hon Chairperson; hon Ministers present today; Deputy Ministers and Deputy Minister, Zoe Kota-Fredericks, hon Members of Parliament and the Human Settlements team led by Director-General Nyana; distinguished guests, I also recognise the members of the executive councils from the provinces and their guests. As the country is ushering in the end of the second decade since the dawn of democracy, it is of paramount importance to note that we have come so far as a nation. The road has not been easy; there have been ups and downs. However, we continue to have faith in spite of all the challenges we have come across as a nation. We are a winning nation and we shall continue to conquer.
Inde le ndlela. Sihlalo, kubalulekile ukuba sikhumbuzane ngomgama osele uhanjwe ngulo rhulumente oxhuzula imikhala nokhokelwa nguKhongolose ukuqinisekisa ukuba impilo yabantu bonke boMzantsi Afrika ingcono, ingakumbi kwiSebe lokuHlaliswa koLuntu ukususela kunyaka we-1994 ukuza kuthi ga kulo nyaka-mali uphezulu. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[This road is long. Chairperson, it is important to remind one another of where we come from with this progressive ANC-led government in ensuring that all the people of South Africa are living a better life, especially through the Department of Human Settlements from the year 1994 up until the current financial year.]
This government, through the ANC policy directives, has managed to promulgate a number of progressive policies and pieces of legislation that are serving as guidelines on this road we are travelling to make sure that the lives of our people are transformed for the better. The Department of Human Settlements has taken centre stage in fighting the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
The ANC, in its 1992 Ready to Govern policy document, acknowledged the following:
The housing problems created by apartheid are many and varied. They include the racial fragmentation of our cities and the high correlation between housing, poverty and race. A high proportion of the population has poor access to basic services such as water, sanitation, refuse removal and electricity and there is a severe shortage of decent, safe and affordable housing. Much of the housing available to the poor is located in monotonous townships and under-serviced informal settlements, far from places of work and poorly provided with community facilities.
The migrant labour system and the single-sex hostels have further contributed to the disruption of family life and social cohesion.
In changing the draconian apartheid spatial divide, the ANC-led government has produced a number of progressive pieces of legislation and policies that seek to integrate our societies. Given the pervasive poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth and land, the ANC's housing policies will promote nonracialism and nonsexism and cater for the disadvantaged groups such as the very poor, the old and the disabled.
All racially based housing institutions have been replaced by institutions that are nonracial, nonsexist, legitimate and accountable to the people.
In South Africa cohesive and sustainable human settlements can be conceptualised within the context of the provisions and the mandate of the South African Constitution and the comprehensive housing plan known as Breaking New Ground. However, at the national level, sustainable human settlements is also influenced by a broad range of policies and legislation which relate to the Housing Act, Act 107 of 1997, Rental Act, Act 150 of 1999, Land Acquisition for Sustainable Human Settlements Policy, as well as the Housing Development Agency Act, Act 23 of 2008 and the National Housing Code. This means that, in South Africa, human settlements is intended to contribute to creating a quality urban environment, which is sustainable and cohesive, where people can live with dignity and pride.
Namhlanje siyazingca ngenkqubela ethe yenziwa nguKhongolose ukuqinisekisa ukuba ezi ngxaki zithe zaqatshelwa zafakelwa kulo mqulu obizwa ngokuthi yi- Ready to Govern. Sikwazile siyile Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho ukunikezela kwisizwe ngokubanzi ingxelo yoko esele kwenziwe, umzekelo, utshintsho kwiihostele ezazakhiwe ngexesha lorhulumente wengcinezelo ezibizwa ngokuba yi-Community Residential Units Development. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Today we are proud of the programme that was developed by the ANC to make sure that those challenges were noted and were listed in the document called Ready to Govern. We as this august House managed to give a full report to the nation about the progress we have made so far; for example, the transformation of the hostels that were built in the apartheid era, which was referred to as Community Residential Units Development.]
With regard to the roll-out of state-subsidised houses to the poor ...
Ukunikezelwa kwamanxiwa asele elungisiwe kuqhubeka njalo. Urhulumente okhokelwa nguKhongolose uqinisekisa ukuba kule kota ephezulu wamkela indlela eneziphumo yokuziswa kweenkonzo [outcome-based service delivery approach]. Iziphumo noxanduva lweli Sebe lezokuHlaliswa koLuntu luqulethwe kumqulu obizwa ngokuba yi-Outcome 8 ngesiNgesi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[The process of rolling out developed plots is continuing. The ANC-led government is making sure that in the current quarter we will be accommodating the outcomes-based service delivery approach. The outcomes and the mandate of the Department of Human Settlements are outlined in the programme that is referred to as Outcome 8 in English.]
The objective of Outcome 8 is to create sustainable human settlements and to improve the quality of life. The four outputs for Outcome 8 ...
... ebesele ezithethile ke uMphathiswa apha ukuba ... [... the Minister had already mentioned this...
... are to accelerate the delivery of housing opportunities; to offer access to basic services; the efficient utilisation of land for human settlements development; and an improved property market. The mandate of Outcome 8 since 2010 has been the upgrading of 400 units of accommodation within informal settlements and provision of tenure.
Besele nditshilo ke malungu abekekileyo ukuba loo rhulumente ukwazile ukuba ukususela ngonyaka we-1994 anikezele kubantu baseMzantsi Afrika malunga nama-853 477 eziza ezilungisiweyo. [Uwelewele]. Yes, [Ewe] kunye nezigidi ezi-2,7 zezindlu. [Kwaqhwatywa.] Sizama ukuthi ke urhulumente we-ANC sele ehambe umgama omde ukuqinisekisa ukuba abantu baseMzantsi Afrika bayaxhamla kuyo yonke le nkqubo karhulumente.
Ukusombulula enye yezi ngxaki bezixelwa apha nguMphathiswa, iingxaki ezimalunga nemingeni yeziseko eziluncedo nezophuhliso kwiSebe loHlaliswa koLuntu, urhulumente okokuqala, ukwazile ukukhupha imali esisibonelelo soPhuhliso yokuHlaliswa eziDolophini [Urban Settlements Development Grant], eza kuthi ikwazi ukuncedisa koomasipala, nakoomasipala abambhaxa, ukuqinisekisa ukuba ezi ziseko ziluncedo nezophuhliso esikhala ngazo ingxaki yazo ikwazi ukusombululeka.
Kumba wezogutyulo lwelindle emaphandleni, urhulumente ukwazile ukuba kubekho ungenelelo olwenzekayo ngenkqubo yogutyulo lwelindle emaphandleni [rural housing sanitation]. Ngoko ke, sonke apha siyabona ukuba urhulumente we-ANC uzama kangangoko anakho. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[I have already said that as from 1994 this government has managed to roll out to the people of South Africa 853 477 developed plots. [Interjections.] Yes, and 2,7 291 million houses. [Applause.] We want to say that the ANC- led government is making sure that the people of South Africa are enjoying this provision of their government.
To solve one of the challenges mentioned by the Minister here, challenges related to the Urban Settlements Development Grant within the Department of Human Settlements, the government managed to supply the Urban Settlements Development Grant to help municipalities and the metropolitan municipalities in ensuring that this infrastructure and the development that we are complaining about is addressed.
Concerning rural housing sanitation, the government managed to make an intervention through the program called rural housing sanitation. Therefore, all of us here can agree that the ANC-led government is trying by all means.]
A special presidential package initiative designed to improve the living and working conditions of workers in key mining towns has been adopted. Human Settlements has adopted an amount of R1 billion to ensure that those projects are rolled out.
The human settlements development grant has been increased by R110 million in 2014-15, and an additional R1 billion has been added for 2015-16 for the informal settlements upgrading programme in rapidly urbanising mining towns, which include Emalahleni, Govan Mbeki, Rustenburg and Steve Tshwete Local Municipalities. Provinces plan to spend R1 billion for the rental housing programme from the Human Settlements Development Grant.
It would be in the interest of the nation to point out that a further number of 9 977 households have benefited through the Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme and have secured ownership of the housing stock they have been occupying for years. In addition, about 33 000 housing units were at various levels of construction, from foundation and wall-plate level up to the roof level, as at 31 March 2013.
The only challenge facing the country is the well-located state land released to municipalities for human settlements development. The department has managed to acquire 7 477 hectares, of which the department has achieved the 2009 state of the nation address mandate of acquiring and releasing 6 250 hectares by 2014. A national upgrading programme has been established and the budget allocation for 2013-14 is R97 million.
The technical support to municipalities that is provided by the department will assist municipalities to develop municipal upgrading strategies to develop settlement upgrading plans for a predetermined number of informal settlements. The capacity development programme has been developed and the content of the programme will be further developed during the course of the year, after which it will be implemented.
Heeding the ANC's call to address bulk infrastructure challenges within the country, the ANC-led government has adopted a massive infrastructure development programme through the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC.
The state of the nation address, and the 2013 budget also take into consideration the implementation of 18 strategic infrastructure projects, especially in 23 districts, which will ensure the provision of water, electricity and sanitation, and this will change the lives of approximately 19 million people. [Applause.]
A few districts that will benefit - just to remind members - are John Tlaolo in the Northern Cape; Ngaka Modiri and Ruth Mompati in North West; Mopani, Greater Sekhukhune, Capricorn and Vhembe in Limpopo; in Zululand these include Amajuba, Uthukela, Sisonke and Ugu districts; in Mpumalanga it's Ehlanzeni; in the Eastern Cape they include Alfred Nzo, O R Tambo, Chris Hani, Amathole and Ukhahlamba; and Xhariep in the Free State.
Furthermore, the ANC-led government has committed itself to supplying water to 104 million households and roll-out sanitation to 2,1 million households that are still without these basic needs.
The portfolio committee has observed much progress in programmes such as housing assistance to military veterans in the Eastern Cape; the memorandum of understanding on the alignment of human settlements development grant quantum and top-up funding; the rolling out of the presidential pilot projects; and job-creation initiatives in all the provinces.
The department has undertaken a process of the recapitalisation of its development finance institutions. Part of their performance is reported as follows:
The Rural Housing Loan Fund, RHLF, was the star performer programme of the department. About 116 000 loans to rural households were disbursed. Cash disbursed in the third quarter alone was close to R41 million, compared to the R44 million disbursed in the first two quarters of the year.
However, what is important about these two institutions, the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency, Nurcha, and RHLF, troubled members of the portfolio committee is the issue of the interest rates. Now we are very happy to inform this House that through our interaction with these two institutions the issue of the interest rates has been resolved.
We should commend the government on a number of progressive decisions that have been taken towards making sure that our institutions are aligned with improved service delivery. The Estate Agency Affairs Board was successfully transferred from the Department of Trade and Industry to the Department of Human Settlements via the presidential proclamation. A new dynamic and professional board has been duly appointed and this strategic organisation is now positioned and under way to make a significant contribution to the Department of Human Settlements.
We welcome the establishment of a collaborative partnership between the Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Science and Technology for the process of developing a Green Paper for Sustainable Human Settlements Development and the revision of the guidelines for human settlements planning and design.
Human settlements are not the purview of the Department of Human Settlements alone. In order to achieve the objective for sustainable integrated settlements with appropriate linkages to water, sanitation, electricity, as well as transport, schools, clinics, parks and other facilities, there is a need to collaborate with several key sector departments, provinces and municipalities. The net gain can be gauged from the co-ordination of planning and reporting on cross-cutting issues affecting Outcomes 7, 8 and 9 with regard to human settlements, housing and sanitation. Significant is the fact that the silo approach is increasingly being replaced by one of co-operation and co-ordination in planning.
South Africa needs to develop a national integrated urban development framework to assist municipalities to effectively manage rapid urbanisation.
I now come to the legislative progress achieved by the department through parliamentary processes since the beginning of the Fourth Parliament. The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements has successfully promulgated two pieces of legislation and one set of regulations since 2009. We are very proud of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Bill because we have seen ...
Oosomashishini bewusasaza lo mthetho kuba le yindlela iPalamente eyathatha ngayo inyathelo lokuba yenze ... [Entrepreuneurs broadcast this policy because this is the way in which Parliament takes steps to offer ...]
... consultative full participation to the rest of the communities. The Community Schemes Ombud Service Bill of 2011 was also promulgated in 2011.
The Social Housing Regulations were published after consultation with Parliament, and the Cabinet approved the Rental Housing Amendment Bill for deliberation in Parliament. The Bill is still under deliberation and it is envisaged to be passed during the 2013-14 financial year.
Households with modest means need safe and suitable housing that they can afford. When housing is affordable, low-and moderate-income families are able to put nutritious food on the table, receive the necessary medical care, and provide reliable day care for their children.
The benefits of affordable housing extend beyond its occupants to the community at large. The development of affordable housing increases spending and employment in the surrounding economy; it acts as an important source of revenue for local governments without a sufficient supply of affordable housing. Employers and entire regional economies can be at a competitive disadvantage because of their subsequent difficulty attracting and retaining workers.
The portfolio committee has come across a number of challenges such as the lack of collaborative planning between the national department and other sector departments.
Loo nto inika ubunzima kuba igunya leSebe lokuHlaliswa loLuntu lixhomekeke nakumanye amasebe ukuze libe nempumelelo. [That creates problems, because the mandate of the Department of Human Settlements depends on other departments for it to be successful.]
Other challenges are the alignment of strategic planning between municipalities and the province, such as IDP, the Provincial Spatial Development Framework and underspending by the provinces ...
... sele etshilo ke ohloniphekileyo. [ ... the hon Minister has already said that.]
Beneficiary management is also another challenge.
Yingxaki ke le kwaye siyacela ukuba sincedisana. Ukuba bakhona abantu abasuka koomasipala, abamele oomasipala kunye namaphondo masibancedise ngalo mba kuba ngowona mba uyingxaki kakhulu ... [This is a problem and we request assistance. If there are people from the municipalities, or representing municipalities and provinces, they must be assisted in this matter because this is the most difficult matter ...]
The selling of RDP houses prior to the completion of the five-year period is another challenge.
Hayi masivume isebe alisebenzanga kakuhle kulo mba wokusasazwa kweenkonzo zogutyulo lwelindle emaphandleni. Kodwa ke, okuhle kukuba ikomiti iyazazi zonke iingxaki kwaye neengxelo ziphumile ngalo mba. Kungenjalo ikomiti idlale indima enkulu ukuncedisana nesebe ekusombululeni le ngxaki. Isesemkhondweni ke. Kungekudala silinde ingxelo evela kuMphathiswa malunga nengxelo yoMphicothi-zincwadi Jikelele ngokusebenza kwale nkqubo.
Xa ndiyiqukumbela intetho yam manditsho ukuthi siyikomiti senza umbulelo kuMphathiswa, uMnu uSexwale, kunye neqela lakhe uComrade uZoe, kunye noMlawuli Jikelele ngentsebenziswano encomekayo kananjalo singabalibali oogxa bethu kumaphondo. Masitsho ukuthi siyayincoma inkxaso esithe sayifumana kumaphondo siyile komiti. Xa sifika kumaphondo size kongamela besifika kwiphondo ikhona ikomiti ikomiti esisigxina yelo phondo ihambe nathi siye koomasipala basekhaya. Xa sifika phaya bakhona oosodolophu kunye nooceba. Loo nto incedisa ekubeni ezi ngxaki sizibone kanye kanye ukwenzele ukuba sikwazi ukuzisombulula. Siyababulela oogxa bethu ngenxaxheba abathe bayidlala.
Siphinde kwakhona sibulele aBaphathiswa bamaphondo. Uyabona ke Sihlalo, le komiti yenye yeekomiti ezithe zakwazi ukuba zicele aBapathiswa bamaphondo beze apha size kuxoxa imicimbi kwaye asikhange sifumane ziingxaki. Uninzi lwaBaphathiswa belusiza sixoxe sijongane ngamehlo kodwa ekugqibeleni siphume nesisombululo. Siyababulela kakhulu ke. Makuqhubeke ke madoda kubenjalo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
OoSodolophu kunye nooceba besele ndibabulele. Ndivumeleni ndibalule nabasebenzi besebe kuzwelonke kunye namasebe amaphondo. Hayi! Bayasive isabhokhwe. Hayi! siyabanyathela. Siyabulela ke ngokuthi basinyamezele kuba kaloku xa kusetyenzwa akumnandanga. Akumnandanga xa sibona izinto ezingekho ntle kodwa siyababulela ngokuthi basinyamezele kwaye iingxelo bayazizisa - ndikhumbula umama uNjobe esithi, "Zange ndiyibone mna ikomiti ehlala iintsuku ezisi-8 ngeveki". Ngoko ke siyababulela ngokuba besinyamezele kuba besifuna ulwazi ngelo xesha. Ndibulela nakubasebenzi bePalamente ngokubanzi negqugula kunye namaLungu ePalamente axhasa ezinye iikomiti. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Let us admit that the department did not perform well in the delivery of sanitation services in the rural areas. However, the committee is aware of the challenges and reports have been issued in this regard. Maybe the committee has played a major role in helping the department in resolving the challenges. It is still on the right track. Shortly we are going to get a report from the Minister in connection with the report of the Auditor- General about the relief brought by this programme.
I want to conclude by saying that as the committee we thank the Minister, Mr Sexwale, and his team, Comrade Zoe and the director-general for their highly appreciated co-operation, and we must not forget our colleagues in the provinces. Let us also mention that we appreciate the support we received as this committee. When we arrived in the provinces for oversight, we always find the standing committee members of the provinces there already and they would go with us to the local municipalities. When we arrive there, mayors and councillors would also be there, waiting. That is helping us in solving the challenges and we solve them together. We thank our colleagues for the role they played.
We also thank the premiers of the provinces. Chairperson, this committee is one of those that manage to request the MECs to come forward so that we can engage each other and we did not encounter any problems. Most of the MECs were present and we engaged with them face to face and finally came up with solutions. We appreciated that more than anything. Let us continue with the good work. [Applause.]
I have already thanked the mayors and the councillors. Allow me to mention the staff members of the department, nationally and within the provincial departments. Oh yes! They feel the pressure. Oh yes! We are on their case. We thank them for their patience with us, because when work is being done, there is no pleasure. It is disheartening to see unsatisfactory things, but we thank them for their patience with us and their report-back. I remember Mrs Njobe saying, "I have never seen a committee that sits for eight days in a week." So we thank them for being patient with us, because we wanted information at that time. I also thank Parliament for supporting other committees.]
The ANC supports the Budget Vote. I thank you. [Time expired.] Applause.]
Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Minister and our esteemed guests, over the years the DA has not only acknowledged every South African's constitutional right to adequate housing but strived to deliver housing opportunities to all those within its constituencies. Ninety-three per cent of the Western Cape's R1,7 billion Human Settlements budget is spent on those earning less than R3 500 per month. We have come to realise that housing is a complex issue and that the national government's "one size fits all" approach to subsidised housing is unsustainable and in need of bold reform.
Allow me to highlight some of the concerns I have with the Department of Human Settlements. In the previous financial year the department once again failed to achieve what were unrealistic and unachievable targets. Even the Auditor-General has highlighted the fact that the department's failure to adhere to smart principles has led to poor planning, immeasurable and unachievable targets and rampant underspending.
The department underspent approximately R4 billion of its budget last year. Let me single out the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces as two culprits who have failed to spend R578 million of the funds allocated to them.
Informal settlements continue to mushroom at an alarming rate throughout South Africa and the department has failed to reach its upgrade targets. Only 141 923 out of 400 000 households earmarked have been upgraded and over R886 million of the human settlements development grant has been returned to our National Treasury. This is a tragedy, considering the daily service delivery protests we all witness.
The urban settlement development grant continues to be underspent. It is furthermore unable to deal with the basic service delivery backlog in metros. Of the allocated R7 billion, municipalities have managed to spend a mere R2 billion.
The infamous rural households infrastructure grant is another programme that fails to impress. Since its inception in 2009, it has suffered from chronic underspending and claims to have saved R164 million this past financial year, yet there are thousands of people in rural South Africa who are still without basic sanitation. The appointment of six new service providers by the rural households infrastructure grant was too little and too late since the grant will effectively come to an end next year without its purpose being served.
The department's inability to monitor and evaluate its programmes to ensure that the funds transferred to provinces and municipalities are properly spent is a serious and expensive problem. More oversight is needed by the department to ensure that money transferred is actually spent on service delivery. We agree with the Financial and Fiscal Commission, FFC, that the department needs a realistic revision of its targets in line with funding, performance, costs and capacity. We agree.
The Departmental Internal Audit Committee has also highlighted the challenges of supply chain management, the lack of internal controls, the lack of adherence to National Treasury regulations, the ineffective information technology, IT, and data systems and, most importantly, that performance targets are not measurable. Now, the question is: How can the department ask for more funds or reward its employees if it cannot measure their performance?
We agree that the gap market and the Finance-linked Individual Subsidy programme, Flisp, is long overdue and that it is the future of housing in South Africa. However, only 57 applications from all 13 provincial projects were approved in the last financial year, which is unfortunate considering the demand for this service. We would like to see this programme being rolled out and opened to the public and not restricted to its current provincial project-linked implementation.
We acknowledge that over 7 000 hectares of land have been released for housing development. However, we are concerned that the amount of land released has not led to significant housing development on the ground and feel that the Minister should engage the Minister of Public Works on this issue.
Fraud and corruption remain a major source of concern. The fact that there is no corruption hotline to report corruption activities shows your department's lack of commitment to fight this scourge. Supply chain management, especially the awarding of tenders, remains a problem.
Recently the Public Protector has revealed that almost 10% of complaints received by her office were related to corruption and maladministration in low-cost housing delivery. The findings, amongst others, include: disproportionate numbers of procurement contracts awarded to the ANC members; bills received for houses that were not built; municipal inspectors failing to issue occupant certificates; corrupt activities in the allocation of houses to friends and families; shoddy workmanship; the illegal sale of land and houses; and illegal and fraudulent allocation of houses to government and municipal officials.
We welcome the work done by the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, to root out corruption within the department. We are concerned, however, about the recovery strategy as it allows convicted officials to simply sign acknowledgement of debt agreements and continue working for the department. We would like to see this policy reviewed and officials found guilty of corruption dismissed. We would also like to see that the Minister work closely with the Department of Public Service and Administration and the Department for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to deal with, and possibly blacklist, provincial and local government employees who are found guilty of corruption. Here the Minister must deal with deployees decisively.
Regarding rectification, I have conducted nationwide oversight visits and was also part of the oversight commission that unearthed shoddy workmanship. Dodgy contractors who do not deliver are bailed out by the government's rectification programme, wasting taxpayers' money in the process. We need to hold contactors accountable by recouping the funds, blacklisting these contractors and making them pay for rectification, not government. Poor workmanship is corruption. Almost every year R1 billion is wasted on rectification.
Sanitation remains one of the biggest shames of this government and department. Twenty years into our democracy there are still people using the bucket system, pit latrines and open-air defecation. It is still the dream of 2,2 million South Africans to have a toilet. When will people's dignity be restored? The government failed to eradicate the bucket system by 2007 and will fail again in 2014. In the meantime, people's rights are being violated and they are being forced to use the bush, plastics - some even get electrocuted while relieving themselves, and others, like the residents of Moqhaka, are charged for sanitation services they have never received. By the way, there are still open toilets in Moqhaka.
Here are the facts on sanitation in South Africa: Over 4,8 million South Africans still use open-air defecation and the bucket system; over 1,92 million people use the bucket system; 2,7 million have no access to toilets at all; and 1 million use other means that we don't know. One thousand deaths are caused by seven water-borne diseases at an annual cost of R8 billion to the Department of Health. According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, worldwide parasitic worms infect more than 1 billion people and 1,8 million children under the age of five years die every year.
Some streets in the Northwest, for example, are literally flooded with sewage and there are reports that communities with over 2 000 people share two toilets. Minister, people are literally dying from lack of adequate sanitation and it's time you do something about it.
Dry aerobic sanitation is cost-effective, provides healthier and safer environments, and it can save water. There are many alternatives that the department can explore. However, it seems that there is a lack of political will within your department.
Again, sanitation is the Minister's legacy. We are still awaiting legislation from your department regarding the mandate of sanitation and want to know how many more people should die, children get sick or Human Rights Commission recommendations and reports be brought to the government before you will act on this important national issue? The Human Rights Commission is in effect doing your job, Minister.
I would like to point out some of the accomplishments in this complex issue. In the Western Cape we lead the country with 99,1% of households having access to piped water and 96,9% having access to toilets.
The amount of toilets in the City of Cape Town informal settlements have more than tripled, from 10 000 to 34 000, over the past six years, ensuring access to sanitation for over 88%. [Interjections.] The allocation for the Peoples' Housing Process, PHP, in the Western Cape has increased from 25% to 40% in 2012-13 provincial human settlements budget. [Interjections.]
The DA agrees with the National Development Plan on the need to have inclusive development by ensuring that the apartheid spatial patterns are reversed. We need effective urban development and co-ordination of planning for housing provision and infrastructure support for bulk and basic services. That's why we support the need for a paradigm shift and the adoption of innovative alternative housing options, not the current one- size-fits-all policies.
The DA's alternative proposals are the following: We need smart settlements that should be developed for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability; site and services should come with incremental top-up structure that is supply-driven; we need to encourage self-help building mechanisms; we need to have consideration of different forms of tenure and incentives other than ownership; we need to look at the rental option; and we need to provide housing vouchers that ensure accessibility and affordability.
Poor planning and lack of capacity, alignment, co-ordination, infrastructure and intergovernmental relations, IGR, are some of the departmental issues prohibiting public opportunities to housing access.
During a recent visit to my constituency, I had a public meeting in an informal settlement called Tswaing View, where one of the community members said: "We were promised a better life in 1994 when we voted for the ANC, but we live under inhumane conditions like this with no water, no electricity and no toilets. The ANC has let us down."
This, Minister, is an outcry from the people of South Africa who feel that government does not care about them and has neglected them. They still dream of the better life they were once promised. And where the Minister has failed to deliver on those promises, we will surely hold him accountable. I thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, director- general and your team, hon Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, first and foremost, I would like to say to the hon Mokgalapa ...
... njengoba uncwina nje, konke lokhu kuncwina kwakho ikomidi liyakwazi. UMnyango nawo ngokunjalo uyakwazi ngoba siyakuxoxa. Musa ukuzoncwina lapha. Umbiko woMoqhaka wafika, wawukhona - uwumuntu omuhle-ke ngoba uyayethamela nemihlangano - wawufunda wawuncoma, sawuncoma sonke. Namhlanje usuzoma ngoMoqhaka la. [Uhleko.] [Ihlombe.]
Lalela-ke, zolo lokhu kade sibuka, sizibuza ukuthi ithini i-DA uma kungasahambeki emigwaqweni. Uma sekusakazwe amabhakede endle agcwala umgwaqo, ithini i-DA eNtshonalanga Kapa? (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[... as you are whining, the committee is aware of all your whining. The department is also aware of it because we are discussing it. You must not whine here. The Moqhaka report was presented and you were present - it is good that you attend meetings - you read and recommended it; we all recommended it. Today, though, you stand here before us and whine about it. [Laughter.][Applause.]
Listen, just yesterday we saw it and we asked ourselves what is the DA saying when the roads are not accessible, when buckets full of human waste are strewn on the road. What is the DA saying in the Western Cape?]
Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
Order, hon members!
... apartheid laws and policies are largely responsible for the insecure tenure rights that the majority of South Africans experience today. The Group Areas Act, Act 41 of 1950, and its succeeding Acts ...
...kwaba wumphumela wokuthi abantu baxoshwe basuswe ezindaweni zabo, bayobekwa lapho kungathi balahliwe khona; bengabonelelwanga ngalutho. Akuzange kube khona nasinxephezelo abasinikwayo. Bavele bathathwa nje bayobekwa laphaya. Babhidlizelwa izindlu kunokuthi bakhelwe izindlu. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[... resulted in people being chased out of and removed from their areas; they were put in remote areas where there are no services. They were not given any compensation. They were just taken and put there. Their houses were demolished instead of houses being built for them.]
The apartheid government had a grossly unequal approach to housing for each racial group. Subsidy schemes were racially divided, poorly targeted and inadequately funded. Black residential areas were exposed to growing - just wait - housing shortages, lack of resources, poor infrastructure ... [Interjections.]
Just hold on, hon member, please. Hon members, we can't hear the speaker. Let us not drown out the speaker with noise. Let us allow the speaker to express herself. Continue, hon member.
... and poor service delivery, resulting in substandard and very inadequate housing for black people in South Africa. The postapartheid era in South Africa ushered in a wide range of legislation and policies, which aim to guarantee and protect the right of individuals to adequate housing.
Human Settlements played a pivotal role in infrastructure development, because whatever the country did, it had to think about where people lived first as they could not live on freeways and in harbours. We want people who are credible, people who pay attention to detail, people who have the know-how and who can provide the ANC-led government with quality work. The ANC wants taxpayers to feel that it is worthy to pay their taxes.
Over 90% of municipalities in the country have developed their municipal turnaround strategies, which have now been integrated into their integrated development plans and municipal budgets.
The issue of quality housing in Human Settlements cannot be compromised. The government established the National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC, under the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act, Act 95 of 1998. The NHBRC's mandate is to regulate the house building industry and protect housing consumers. The regulatory aspect involves ensuring the registration of builders. In attempting to ensure housing consumer protection, every house should be registered by the NHBRC prior to construction.
The NHBRC is mandated to represent the interests of housing consumers by providing warranty protection against defects in new homes; to regulate the home building industry; to provide protection to housing consumers in respect of the failure of home builders to comply with their obligations in terms of the Act; and to establish and promote ethical and technical standards in the home building industry.
Once the house has been registered, the NHBRC is bound to inspect that house. With regard to the nonsubsidy sector, four inspections prior to the completion should be done, whilst for the subsidy sector, one inspector for every 200 houses built is provided. Once the house has been completed, the municipality concerned issues an occupation certificate.
South Africa is one of the countries where issues of accountability and good governance take centre stage in the running of the country. Through the constitutionally created institutions such as the office of the Auditor- General, every department is required to provide information on its performance on a regular basis. Parliament also plays a major role through its oversight mandate to hold the departments accountable on their performance. The Audit Committee also commends the department for progressively dealing with issues raised by the Auditor-General. The Audit Committee is responsible to monitor progress, and to advise and report on the matter annually. The department has established a Risk Management Committee, RMC. However, this committee was not optimally functional due to lack of participation and commitment from the risk owners, and this was discussed both in the RMC and Audit Committee. Management was advised to put measures in place to address them.
The Auditor-General noted in his report on the investigation into housing subsidies that there are 600 outstanding Special Investigation Unit, SIU, red flags where investigations have been finalised. These cases have been assessed and identified as possible acknowledgement of debts, AODs, where the government is likely to make further recoveries - that is for money lost through fraud and corruption; all labour matters such as disciplinary cases involving government employees, national and provincial, were referred to the respective premiers for the institution of progressive disciplinary procedures; and labour matters involving municipal employees could not be resolved or pursued because affected municipalities argued that the alleged fraudulent activities were not orchestrated or related to the scope of employment of their employees.
The issue of good governance should not be compromised. Parliament seeks to combat crime and corruption by encouraging whistle-blowing by employees regarding improprieties such as unlawful and irregular conduct. Employees who take such actions are to be protected from victimisation by their employers. The intention is to create a culture that will facilitate the disclosure of information by employees relating to criminal and other irregular conduct in the workplace, in a responsible manner by providing comprehensive statutory guidelines for the disclosure of such information, but where the employee will be still be protected against any reprisals as a result of such disclosures.
In South Africa the Protected Disclosures Act, Act 26 of 2000, has done much to alleviate the worst fears of those who blow the whistle in good faith on wrongdoings and malpractices. We want to build corruption-free and efficiently run municipalities through the launch of Operation Clean Audit 2014. The ANC supports the Budget Vote No 31. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister and hon members, in his latest report on the performance of national and provincial audit outcomes, the Auditor-General observes a general regression in financial management for government departments. He notes that there is stagnation and slow progress towards clean financial administration.
He goes on to urge senior government leaders to deal decisively with corrupt individuals in the Public Service. The leaders, he continues, must ensure that internal control measures are not only in place but that they are implemented. Competent staff must be hired and capacity on information technology beefed up. He strongly suggests that officials who perform poorly, and I quote, "should be dealt with decisively".
He concludes by putting a challenge to the national and provincial legislatures to play a more active role in their oversight. My observation is that the portfolio committee, under the able leadership of the hon Nomhle Dambuza, does, and I quote her, "take its oversight work very seriously". [Applause.] It plays an active role in following the funds allocated to the department and the implementation of legislation that guides its functioning.
Witness to this is the director-general himself and his entire senior staff.
Baphekwa besophulwa kula komiti mihla le. [They are grilled daily in that committee.]
However, problems persist in spite of that. This week's Mail & Guardian reports one such incident in the North West, Vryburg Naledi Local Municipality, where 3 000 RDP houses were budgeted for, but only four were completed. The contractor billed the municipality for construction of roads, storm water drainage and other structures - that is work not even undertaken. The council paid R86 million for only R20 million's worth of work actually done. Where was the NHBRC? That is not value for money.
Of concern, hon Minister, is that the municipality did pay the contractor. The question is: Why? However, the deep concern to Cope is that nothing has been done in spite of the abundant evidence uncovered by the investigation. Could it be that a member of the council received a kickback? We will never know. Instead, the provincial government has taken over the procurement and a new contractor has been appointed. This is what the Auditor-General is referring to: lack of decisive action by government leaders. Numerous contractor deficiencies with regard to the spending of grants have been cited before.
The Department of Human Settlements contributes to Outcome 8, which seeks to create sustainable human settlements and improve the quality of household life. In the current financial year the department seeks to achieve the objectives of Outcome 8 through a budget allocation of R28,1 billion. This is an increase from the last financial year allocation.
The main expenditure is on Programme 4, which provides finance for various housing development activities through the transfer of three main grants. The human settlements development grant of R16,9 billion is transferred to all nine provinces for construction and completion of RDP houses and servicing of sites; the urban settlements development grant of R9,1 billion is transferred to metros to ensure instalment of bulk infrastructure related to human settlements; the Rural Household Infrastructure Grant, RHIG, of R106,7 million is for reducing backlogs in rural water and sanitation. This year this grant is transferred directly to identified municipalities.
As can be seen, policy implementation and spending on these grants are located at provincial and municipality level. The task of the national department is to co-ordinate and monitor implementation and ensure collaboration in planning. However, this is where the problems lie. For example, the national department, this year, is prioritising the upgrading of 400 000 informal settlements by 2014, spending R19,2 billion - quite a big budget, mind you - but the provincial and metro business plans tend to put emphasis on the construction of more RDP houses. Therefore, they continue to chase numbers while the department emphasises quality rather than quantity when providing basic services.
The department intends to expand development of affordable rental housing stock, but the metros have allocated insufficient funds for this programme, thus their business plans are not aligned to national priorities. The department intends to increase finance of affordable housing covering the gap market. However, some provinces and metros have not even budgeted for this priority; others have no budget for land purchasing or its development. Cope welcomes steps taken by the department to review provincial and metro business plans and to advise on amendments. This will go a long way in aligning programmes at all levels and reducing the rampant underspending, especially by metros, which had spent only 45% of the USDG by the end of January this year. We fear that there is going to be fiscal dumping here. This collaboration approach is long overdue.
However, there is more to the problem of informal settlements than just upgrading them. The time has come to put more emphasis on encouraging and facilitating home ownership. Provision of free RDP houses has had complex unintended consequences for our people.
The line between the poor and the poorest, deserving government intervention, and those in the lower margin of the gap market has become blurred. This is exacerbated by the dominant mentality of entitlement among our people and more so by corrupt contractors and councillors who continue to manipulate beneficiary lists.
Recently, we watched in dismay on SABC TV news as women-headed families listed as beneficiaries in an RDP project that had just been completed were unable to occupy their houses. They remained with house numbers in their hands while the keys were issued to illegal occupants. All that the beneficiaries received were threats that they were going to be killed should they interfere. The question we ask is: Who is responsible for this and what is being done about it?
Such a situation could have been avoided if the legal beneficiaries had been issued with title deeds to their allocated houses. This incident and many other such situations call for the department to seriously address the issue of access to title deeds by potential occupants. I thank you. [Time expired.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, Deputy Minister, hon members and distinguished guests, in November 2010 I travelled with a lady on a flight to Durban. We discussed the process that her employee, Khanya, must follow in order to apply for an RDP house. Living conditions where she was residing were not good. Her young daughter was raped and one of her children could not live with her because there was no room for him.
After her attempts to see the councillor, unanswered phone calls in the Department of Human Settlements, and attempts to meet with the chairperson of the housing committee, the city manager and finally, in desperation, the Minister's office were all in vain, I had to apologise that none of us in our high-powered positions could assist Khanya to apply for an RDP house.
The following is the final e-mail I got from the lady I travelled with in 2010, which I received in November 2012, in which she says that the ward councillor had informed Khanya that in order to be considered she had to erect a shack of some sort. Khanya has been investigating opportunities which are not entirely suitable for her, nor cheap. However, I am happy to say that with our assistance, she has arranged for an area to be cleared where she currently dwells under a friend's roof. She has asked a neighbour to dig a hole for ablution, which he did yesterday and cost her R150. Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, and hopefully it is not a scam, a "Zozo-type" hut will be erected on the cleared area and she will be the proud owner of the shack. I still pray every night that she will be picked out from the crowd and find herself going home at the end of a long working day.
Thousands of people like Khanya are desperate for a house - not an easy situation. However, it is not only the Khanyas at the bottom of the pile who struggle to get a house. I want to focus today on what is called the gap market, those people who earn too much to qualify for an RDP house and yet do not earn enough to qualify for a bond. The beneficiaries I am focusing on are our teachers, nurses, police, small business owners, and so on.
In his February 2012 state of the nation address President Jacob Zuma introduced the concept of a Finance-linked Individual Subsidy programme, known as Flisp, for people earning between R7 OOO and R15 000 per month - that was an adjusted figure - with a maximum subsidy of R87 000. Flisp assists people who can't afford monthly repayments on a full mortgage bond to make a deposit.
Let me use an example, because I hope I'm speaking to these people out there. A property is selling for R300 000, which is the maximum allowed under this scheme, and you meet the qualifying criteria for the full subsidy - let's say of R87 000, and that also varies. You take your R300 000 for your house minus the R87 000 subsidy leaving a bond of R213 000. The bond repayments now become affordable. So, Flisp is the department's way of bridging the gap. [Applause.] The scheme, as the Minister has already indicated, is available through the National Housing Finance Corporation, NHFC.
Owning a property makes you stand 10 feet tall. Come on, you've got to admit that! It also gives you dignity. For most people it will be their biggest investment. The latest research into the provision of affordable housing in the so-called gap market in South Africa shows that it is an important facilitator for opportunities and wealth creation.
The study found that those who obtain homes in this sector move beyond viewing them as a mere shelter. Instead, their homes become assets which they can then use as collateral to obtain loans. This empowers them for entrepreneurship, job creation and access to higher levels of education. Increasing entrepreneurship in South Africa will also lead to increased employment, a key contributor to job growth globally.
The Estate Agency Affairs Board also has a very important role to play in Flisp. During a presentation to the Human Settlements portfolio committee, we established that they will be working with the NHFC to promote this market. They are ideally placed as they include in their road shows a special focus on the gap market. The estate agents can identify properties falling within the R300 000 categories and compile a database of people in the gap market who qualify for this.
Currently, property investors are buying up these properties, but this is still an opportunity for the gap market to buy into the property market. Parliament will be working closely with the board to ensure that opportunities are opened up for this market. The best of all is that the structure is all in place and it will not cost the department anything.
I now want to move on very briefly to social housing. The Social Housing Regulatory Authority is producing excellent results in providing rental accommodation. It is estimated that one in five South African households lives in either formal or informal rental housing accommodation. The influx of people from rural areas is leading to an ever increasing demand for rental accommodation.
Madulammoho, meaning "living together", is a registered nonprofit section 21 social housing institution that was established in 2004 and operates seven housing projects in the Johannesburg inner city. [Applause.] It pioneered what is called the stepped approach to housing, providing people with alternative housing options at different rental levels. It demonstrates that as people are supported and their skills are developed, they are able to earn more and, as a result, their housing options improve. However, if incomes decline, tenants may need to seek a reduced alternative. It provides for simple shelters, transitional housing, communal housing and social housing - this is thinking out of the box.
This stepped approach provides for people with different earning incomes ranging between nothing and R7 500. The accommodation meets the needs of the people. The ANC congratulates Madulammoho on winning two Govan Mbeki Awards in 2013. [Applause.]
Corruption and maladministration is rampant in the housing sector and the ANC commends the Minister and his department for the steps taken to root it out. However, it is moving a little too slowly; of R4,2 billion only R30 million has been recovered. We need to do something about that.
Former President Nelson Mandela said during his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993:
We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born. Let it never be said by future generations that indifference, cynicism or selfishness made us fail to live up to the ideals of humanism which the Nobel Peace Prize encapsulates.
Chairperson, may I address the Minister? Your department has been remaking itself. Can you assure this House that future generations will not blame you and us for failing them in the delivery of human settlements because of our indifference, cynicism or selfishness? The Khanyas, teachers and nurses are depending on you. They are depending on us. You dare not fail them and we, as Parliament, dare not fail them. Thank you. [Applause.]
Chairperson, Minister Tokyo Sexwale, Minister Ben Martins, Minister Paul Mashatile, Minister Lulu Xingwana, Deputy Minister Ntuli, Deputy Minister Thoko Xasa, MEC Clifford Motsepe, chairperson of the portfolio committee, hon Dambuza, hon Members of Parliament, guests, Director-General Thabane Zulu and his team, chairpersons and CEOs of our housing institutions, I greet you this afternoon. Also, allow me to greet the people of Dunoon who are linked to us through a screen: Halala, Dunoon, halala!
This Budget Vote is taking place at the time when we are marking the 20th year of the brutal death of the late Comrade Chris Hani - may his soul rest in peace. It is also taking place when we are celebrating the 30th year of the formation of the United Democratic Front.
Chairperson, allow me to pass my condolences to the family of Vuyo Mbuli. May his soul rest in peace. He has left flowers behind and he left them in bloom. On 19 June we will be marking the 100th year of the Native Land Act of 1913, whose legacy is still haunting us as we speak today.
Our role as the department is to provide houses to the poorest of the poor. Those who earn between R0,00 and R3 500 get a free housing subsidy from government. This is indeed a mammoth task as we try to reach out to as many beneficiaries as we can. The main challenge is the fact that housing is a moving target. The more we deliver on this mandate, many more expectations are created as eligible households want their houses now. But the funding and our capacity to deliver at economies of scale leave much to be desired.
Housing is a right enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic. Chapter 2, section 26 of the Bill of Rights says the following on housing:
1) Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing. 2) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right.
3) No one may be evicted from their home or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.
The Freedom Charter adopted in Kliptown in 1955 puts the issue of housing as one of the rights that must be enjoyed by the people of this country. It says, and I quote: "There shall be houses, security and comfort."
The Department of Human Settlements has made great strides in the provision of housing to the needy people of our society.
Underpinning the new housing vision is the creation of sustainable human settlements with access to social and economic amenities. The delivery of sustainable human settlements requires a collaboration of all relevant departments and the private sector. We need a public-private partnership.
Apartheid spatial patterns continue to weigh down efforts towards creating sustainable settlements that facilitate access to opportunities and promote safety and security. This is exacerbated by, amongst others, the lack of well-located land, and capacity constraints in areas such as planning and implementation. In January this year at a workshop convened by the portfolio committee, we deliberated at length on these issues. The fact that we still have houses with no schools, clinics, social amenities and roads is a problem.
Last weekend I went to George and did door-to-door work. It was shocking to realise that George Municipality does not have a housing plan. This is a DA- controlled municipality. There is no adherence to norms and standards in the building of houses. There are houses built five years ago, but they have no walls - they are shells. The rooms are not separated and there are many cracks.
This is despite the fact that a comprehensive plan has been in place since 2004. In fact, there is a family that has 19 shacks and there is no sanitation provided. There is a blind person who lives in a house that was gutted by fire and has no water, electricity or ramp. In one section 60 families have been promised houses 14 years ago. Each time they enquire about the progress they are told to wait for a surprise. [Laughter.] This is unacceptable. This community has artisans, plumbers and bricklayers who are prepared to build each other's houses through the People's Housing Process, PHP, if they could be assisted. This area is also suitable for in- situ upgrading. One asks oneself why the rectification programme is not used to rectify these houses. People are living in squalid conditions in this area.
On Saturday I attended the funeral of a one-year-old, Bradley. May his soul rest in peace. This means that the infant mortality rate is high.
Listen very carefully. I promised the people of George I would return and engage the municipality on their housing plan. Also, we will rebuild the house of the blind person with the assistance of the Department of Correctional Services. [Applause.]
Integrated human settlements calls upon us to work, budget and plan together. It has no room for departments or spheres of governments to work in silos. It means that we must believe and understand the policies that we are mandated to implement at all levels. This dream is being realised in the Green Paper on Human Settlements that is being crafted. It speaks to the kind of human settlements we want. The Green Paper itself is the review of the existing policy which aims to deal with the gaps that have been identified. We hope to complete this process in this current year.
One of the areas that continue to confront us is the issue of fires and floods, particularly fires in the Western Cape. There were fires in Dunoon. Just last week a disabled child was burnt to death. May his soul rest in peace. This fire affected more than 300 shacks. There was a fire in Stellenbosch which affected 500 families. In Khayelitsha 779 families were affected and about 3 000 people were left destitute.
The Department of Social Development, through the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, the Department of Home Affairs and the SA Police Service played a leading role in assisting these families to restore their lives. Eight families lost their lives. The Khayelitsha families were housed at O R Tambo Hall.
Chairperson, allow me to thank all those from the communities who assisted those families, especially the priests and service providers. I was very happy when I visited the hall at the end of April to realise that not a single person was there. We will continue to monitor this situation until the 800 families are housed at Bosasa in October. This was a promise made by the three spheres of government to the President, Mr Jacob Zuma, when he visited the families after the state of the nation address in February 2013.
The Khayelitsha Development Forum and the Crisis Committee who assisted the fire victims requested the Department of Human Settlements to hold a summit. The summit was held on 21 March 2013, on Human Rights Day, and came up with a declaration that needs implementation.
As government we are committed to eradicating the bucket system as of yesterday. South Africa as a country has met the Millennium Development Goal, MDG, target of halving the sanitation backlog. The only dilemma is that despite this success, we are unable to provide universal access, hence there are still millions of people who are without access to decent sanitation, as in the case of Moqhaka and Makhaza. The leadership of Makhaza is here and I say greetings to you, comrades.
As the department we were invited to the public hearings of the Human Rights Commission to respond on progress relating to the Makhaza and Moqhaka toilet saga. We welcomed the opportunity of appearing before the Chapter 9 institution with both hands. We made the following input at the commission.
The national Department of Human Settlements is one of the key departments of state that contribute to the eradication of water and sanitation backlogs in our country. Since 1994 the department has, through its various programmes, provided 2,8 million households with water and sanitation. In this regard it is important to emphasise that provision has been made to household level. During this current political term we have, as the department, committed to provide 400 000 households with access to basic services as well as allocate land with security of tenure.
Our department is also, in collaboration with the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and The Presidency, taking steps to ensure that communities have 100% access to water and sanitation. As the department we are in constant contact with municipalities to ensure that basic services are being provided to our people.
It is also important to remember that, during the course of 2011, Minister Sexwale commissioned a team to look at the state of household access to sanitation. The report of the team has been translated into the Strategic Infrastructure Project 18, Sip18, focusing on the implementation of the sanitation and water master plan. The monitoring of this falls under the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, PICC, which reports to President Zuma. We had a successful report back at Makhaza and it was well attended.
As the department we have taken the issue of job creation seriously. We believe that the building of houses must not only guarantee the security of tenure, but must also lead to the breaking of the poverty cycle, hence job creation becomes critical. In this regard we have collaborated with a number of departments in order to make this dream a reality.
We are partnering with the Department of Labour on job-creation initiatives and with the Department of Public Enterprises. They have both indicated interest to work with us on the issues of fires and floods, including career exposures. We will work with the Department of Trade and Industry on housing co-operatives. We intend to work closely with the Department of Correctional Services as part of offender rehabilitation by building houses for the destitute. We will work closely with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, as we always do, and with the Department of Arts and Culture. We work closely with the Department of Transport in developing the comprehensive plan on the urban integrated framework.
Our aim is to ensure that housing delivery is linked to jobcreation opportunities and career guidance. This is so because we believe that if young people have access to jobs, they will not queue for housing. They will buy and rent houses on their own. This is also about sustainable livelihood in which local economy is a critical ingredient of social cohesion. It is about the empowerment of communities.
On 8 June we will be handing over a house which was gutted by fire in Langa and repaired by the chief operating officer, COO, of Viridi Homes, Mr Manas Mabitsela. On the same day, we will also be having a career exposure event at Langa High School, targeting over 2 000 learners. We will also be cleaning the school as part of commemorating 16 June. We will be having Youth Build programmes across provinces.
We will continue to work with SA Women in Construction, Sawic, led by Mme Phakade; the Federation of the Urban Poor, Fedup; the National Homeless People's Federation; and all other community-based organisations, CBOs, in improving the plight of women. I still believe that houses built by women are of better quality. [Applause.]
We have noticed with concern that in this financial year there has been a decline in terms of the number of houses built by women-led contractors as well as houses built through PHP. This state of affairs is not acceptable. We have to pull up our socks and continue to give opportunities to these courageous women. If it is about capacity, let us join hands and capacitate them. Enhanced PHP is a government policy and has to be implemented. Houses built through PHP are bigger and more beautiful.
Regarding the issue of housing for military veterans, there has been progress. The Minister and MECs, Minmec, has approved the implementation plan. A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans. We have received a database from the Department of Defence and Military Veterans and it has been screened and sent to provinces. We will have the first military veterans' houses built this year in Queenstown.
We have attended the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum held in Napoli, Italy. The theme of the conference was "The urban future". We also attended a conference in Morocco ... [Time expired.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon MEC Clifford Motsepe from my province, Limpopo, hon Members of Parliament, distinguished guests in the gallery, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to dedicate this speech to my family, my husband, my children, my parents, the Mookgopong community, the Waterberg district and, lastly, my province again, Limpopo. I am proud to say I am from Limpopo. [Applause.]
The term "human settlement" is regarded as any built environment where people live, work and play. Technology also develops and changes; therefore, much research and development is critical in this instance. Capacity and constant interaction and partnerships must be forged with various stakeholders if the dream of realising these innovative ways of housing delivery is to be achieved.
Sustainable human settlement depends on the creation of a better environment for human health and wellbeing, which will improve the living conditions of people and decrease disparities in the quality of their lives. The health of the population depends, at least, as much on the control of environmental causes of poor health as on clinical responses to disease. Children are particularly vulnerable to harmful urban environments and must be protected. Designing, constructing, operating and maintaining buildings involve large amounts of energy, water and other resources, and create significant amounts of waste. The building process also impacts on the environment and ecosystem surrounding the building site. Changing the lives of people, even if it is one or two, is worthwhile. No matter how long it takes, Human Settlements will touch your life, too.
South Africa's contribution to global warming and our vulnerability to the escalating impacts of an overheated climate system provide one set of reasons for a departure from business as usual. Developing local industries in renewable energy technologies and empowering communities to participate in energy service delivery would make a major contribution to achieving our national priorities of employment growth and poverty reduction. Yet, a social cost benefit analysis has not been factored into integrated energy planning to date.
The ANC-led government is in the process of investing in alternative and cleaner technologies that will improve the quality of life for low-income households through more affordable and safer energy sources. In his 2013 state of the nation address, His Excellency, our hon President Zuma, announced that government had signed contracts to the value of R47 billion in the renewable energy programme. This involve 28 projects in wind energy, solar water heaters and small hydrotechnologies to be developed in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Free State.
Recent electricity tariff increases and electricity supply challenges have made South Africans more receptive to the concept of alternative technologies to conventional electricity, such as solar water heating, in particular. Renewable energy can be one of the pillars in the world that help to curb the devastating effects of climate change. In response, therefore, the portfolio committee is urging the Department of Human Settlements to take centre stage on issues of climate change and renewable energy. In collaboration with other departments, such as the Departments of Energy and of Science and Technology, as well as the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, Human Settlements could play a major role in responding to and adapting to the challenges of climate change.
In developed countries, renewable energy technologies are most often introduced for environmental reasons to reduce greenhouse gas emissions mandated under the Kyoto Protocol, to which South Africa became a signatory in 2002.
It is important to realise the potential of renewable energy technology in the context of South Africa's developmental needs. Besides their valuable environmental contribution to society, their contribution to society in the way of employment and economic benefits should be considered.
Modulasetulo, mabapi le maano a tlhokomelo ya tikologo ao a lebanego le bodulo bja batho, ao a tla go akaret?a motlagase wa theko yeo e fokodit?wego, kgoro e begile gore lenaneo la mafelelo la Khoutu ya Dintlo ya Boset?haba le gapelet?a gore mabaka ao a amanago le tikologo a phethagat?we.
Setlwaedi le metheo ye, e mabapi le tlhamo le peakanyo ya makhei?ene go kgonthi?i?a t?e di latelago: go netefat?a gore dintlo di agwe go lebelela bohlabela ka thokong ya let?at?i gore ka ntlong go be borutho selemo le marega, go netefat?a gore go be le t?homi?o ya didiri?wa t?a go seket?a meetse ka ntlong le go netefat?a gore bogolo bja mafasetere e be bja maleba gomme gwa ba le mafasetere a mannyane ka thokong ya borwa ya ntlo, bjbj.
Go feta moo, go dirilwe dinyaki?i?o t?eo di tsenelet?ego t?a go lebelela ka leswa mekgwa le meetlo ya boset?haba ye mabapi le ditirelo le meago ya bodulo ya saruri go netefat?a tshepelelano. (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)
[Chairperson, with regard to the environmental strategies related to human settlements, which will include low-cost electricity, the department reported that the latest progamme of the National Housing Code compels compliance with environmental conditions.
These norms and standards are in accordance with the nature and provisions of locations: To ensure that the houses are facing the sun so that it becomes warm in summer and winter; to ensure that there is usage of water- saving devices in the houses; and to ensure that the windows are of the recommended size and that the smaller windows are on the northern side of the house, etc.
Furthermore, in-depth research to reconsider these national norms and standards regarding construction and services of permanent settlements to ensure compliance has been done.]
The current environmentally friendly human settlements developments have incorporated improved architecture, such as the installation of ceilings in all houses with a prescribed air gap, the installation of top ceiling insulation, the plastering of all internal walls, the replacement of windows, and the provision of improved thermal performance glazing.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, CSIR, as a strategic research partner in the Human Settlements fraternity, has developed research on the new building technologies. The portfolio committee is very impressed with those research technologies and urges the department to take advantage of these innovative ways. Notwithstanding the fact that there are provinces that have already heeded the call in implementing these technologies, more still needs to be done in encouraging our communities to accept these technologies. The portfolio committee appeals to the department and the CSIR to consider the designing of alternative indigenous building technologies. Why don't you applaud? [Applause.]
The committee would like to encourage all the housing developers to consider the issue of greening at all the newly built houses.
The hon member Mashishi's time has expired. Hon member, your time has expired!
Low-cost houses should be provided with trees and people should be encouraged ...
Hon member Mashishi, your time has expired.
The ANC support Budget Vote No 31: Human Settlements. Ke a leboga. [I thank you.] Ha khensa. [I thank you.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Hon Speaker, let me start by saying that the IFP supports Budget Vote No 31. [Applause.]
Ningasheshi nishaye ihlombe. [Uhleko.] [Don't be in a hurry to clap hands. [Laughter.]]
We commend the department for a job well done under the leadership of the Director-General, Thabane Zulu, the Deputy Director-General, Neville Chainee, the Chief Financial Officer, Ms Funani Matlatsi, and all other officials of the Department of Human Settlements.
The department received unqualified audit reports from the Auditor-General, for the past four years and always had a plan to address issues raised by the office of the Audirot-General. They have always kept the portfolio committee updated on these issues and this must be commended, as it is evidence of the transparency and good governance under which it operates. We also commend the commitment and the passion of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, hon Dambuza.
Whilst the department's overall performance remains positive the following issues require attention: failure by the department to spend R4 billion allocated to it; and failure to effectively utilise the sanitation fund in that 94% of the money allocated remains unspent. This underspending resulted in the following crisis in the country: failure of the department to eradicate the bucket system in the Eastern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Free State and even here in the Western Cape. Former President Thabo Mbeki promised to eradicate the problem by 2017. The department failed to eradicate pit toilets in Sokhulumi, Gauteng; KwaDambuza in KwaZulu-Natal; Ward 4 in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal; Ward 10 in Khutsong, Gauteng; Winterfield in Gauteng; Thokoza in Gauteng; Cala in the Eastern Cape and many more. This is solely because of incompetence and underspending. The department must also ensure that our municipality has the necessary capacity to utilise the funds allocated to them. One often finds that our metros do not have the capacity to effectively use such resources. Even worse is the rectification programme. The programme of rectification has no place in the department. It exists because corruption and tender fraud exist in the department. It is wasteful expenditure in the extreme ...
Ngicabanga ukuthi uSihlalo uyakhumbula ngenkathi sise-North West, kwathiwa kunendlu ye-RDP ebiza izigidi eziyisishiyagalombili zamarandi. Namanje asikatholi ukuthi indlu eyodwa yakhiwa kanjani ngezigidi eziyisishiyagalombili zamarandi. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[I think the Chairperson remembers that when we were in the North West province, it was claimed that there is an RDP house that costs R8 million. Even today we haven't determined how it happened that only one house could be built at a cost of R8 million.]
Defective housing is a ticking bomb and when it finally explodes we are going to experience violent unrest, the likes of which have never been seen in South Africa. The people of Thokoza, Katlehong, Vosloorus, Benoni, Daveyton, Mamelodi, Saulsville, Alexander, Soweto, Sedibeng, Umlazi, Free State and the Eastern Cape have had enough. They live in dilapidated hostels that have been isolated, neglected and ignored by the department. These people live under terrible conditions.
Yini le eyenziwa ngabantu abahlala emahostela? Cala lini, Ngqongqoshe, abalenza elingasapheli? Ingabe bona abasizo yini izakhamuzi zaseNingizimu Afrika? Ingabe bona abayitheli yini intela njengawo wonke umuntu? Abantu abavela kwamanye amazwe ase-Afrika baphathwa kangcono kunabantu abahlala emahostela. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[What did the hostel dwellers do to deserve this? What crime did they commit that can never be pardoned, hon Minister? Are they not citizens of South Africa? Are they not paying their taxes just like everybody else? Even foreigners from other African countries are treated better than the hostel dwellers.]
Speaker ... Chair, sorry, Chair.
Chairperson, I think we need to revisit this cruel policy because it does not address the issue of vulnerable ...
Take your seat, hon member, there is a point of order.
Sorry, Chair, I do not mean to interrupt the speaker but there is no interpretation and there was no interpretation for the previous speaker as well. I wonder if they can sort it out. Thanks.
Continue, hon member.
Phela leyo akuyona inkinga yami. [But that is not my problem.]
Backyard dwellers remain a grave challenge for our country and we call upon the department, as we have done in the past, to adequately allocate the budget in order to address the poor living conditions that these citizens contend with. In most instances there is still massive overcrowding, insufficient sanitation, shortage of water and electricity, and living standards are generally unhygienic.
We need to revisit the "one house per family" policy. The way this is interpreted on the ground creates a great deal of confusion. People interpreted it as saying that you cannot have a house if your sibling has one.
Secondly, it deprives people of their constitutional right to housing. The government is constitutionally mandated with the responsibility to provide all qualifying citizens with houses, irrespective of where they reside in South Africa.
In conclusion, I challenge the Minister, the Deputy director-general and the CFO to undertake an oversight visit with me to Ward 67 and Ward 63 in Tshwane, as well as to Ward 29 in Benoni, so that they, too, may be direct witnesses to the appalling conditions affecting these areas.
Ngicabanga ukuthi uNgqongqoshe wazi kangcono ngenhlalo yasemahositela ngoba uke wahlala eDube. Okunye okusuke kukhathaze ukuthi sasinoNgqongqoshe eJabulani ... kunamahositela ayisithupha akhiwe e-Gauteng, kodwa kuze kube namhlanje akekho umuntu ohlala phakathi kwawo. Nabu ubufakazi bento engikhuluma ngayo. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[I think the Minister knows the living conditions at hostels better, because he once stayed in Dube Hostel. One other positive thing is that when we went to Jabulani Hostel with the Minister ... There are six newly built hostels in Gauteng, but until today no one is occupying them. Here is the evidence of what I am talking about. [Applause.]]
Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the ANC- led government has a political and historical duty to improve the living conditions of our people. African people have gone through various periods of dehumanisation, from slavery to colonialism and neo-colonialism. The restoration of the African people's dignity is of paramount importance. We cannot run away from the fact that apartheid settled people in racial, class and ethnic compartments.
The ANC-led government has made much progress in the past 19 years in the provision of housing, water and electricity to millions of homes, amongst others. [Applause.] Our economy has grown and we have deepened our democracy. The international community has shown its confidence in the new South Africa. There is still much to be done in creating a better life for all South Africans. We have to ensure that we grow the economy in order to meet the needs of all our people.
In the past two financial years, that is, from 2011 until end March 2013, approximately 15 300 People's Housing Process, PHP, units were delivered in five provinces, namely in the North West, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng. The PHP is a critical programme that encourages people to be at the centre of their own development. The scale of poverty, inequality and unemployment requires a more multifaceted approach that empowers people to lift themselves out from the trappings of these challenges. [Applause.]
Community participation is generally understood as a process in which the citizenry are directly involved in the planning, governance and the overall development programmes at local level. In the context of housing projects, community participation is a notion where members of the community and the beneficiaries are in control of the whole process from planning the house designs and public space. They must be involved in all housing development processes.
Siyazi-ke ukuthi abantu bakithi bayakwazi ukuzakhela nokuzenzela. Siyakhumbula ukuthi kudala bebezakhela izindlu ngezandla zabo, besebenzisa amatshe. Namanje lezo zindlu zisekhona sisazibona. Abantu badinga usizo ngezinsiza zokwakha ngoba abanye bathanda ukuzenzela orawondi kuthi abanye bazenzele amafulati, njalo njalo.
Ukuzenzela kwenza abantu baziqhenye ngobunikazi bezindlu, bazigcine zizinhle futhi zithandeka. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[We know that our people are able to build and to do things for themselves. We do remember that in the olden days they used to build houses with their bare hands, using stones. Even now, those houses are still there and we see them. People must be assisted with building material because some like to build rondavels and others like to build flats, etc.
Doing things for themselves makes people proud owners of these houses - they keep them beautiful and loveable.][Applause.]]
Public participation gives ordinary people a meaningful opportunity to exercise their voice in processes that shape the outcome of development that has a direct bearing on their lives. Participation is necessary because it also deepens the process of democracy and enables the government to be more effective.
We should encourage the support of housing co-operatives. The 53rd ANC National Conference resolution states that as the ANC we will continue making use of co-operatives so as to create the much needed employment in communities and also ensure ownership. [Applause.] We should commend some of the successful housing co-operatives such as Amalinda Housing project amongst many others across the country.
The Amalinda Housing project is located in the Eastern Cape and is situated about eight kilometres outside the centre of East London on the east coast of South Africa. The Amalinda co-operative settlement project involves 216 detached housing units in East London. The National Development Plan, NDP, encourages active citizenry where people are involved in the provision of their own houses. This practice will instil a sense of pride in our people.
Kumanje siyazi ukuthi sibhekene nenkinga yokuthi abantu bakithi bathengisa lezi zindlu zomxhaso ngemali encane. Abaye bayaziqashisa kuthi abanye baziphendule ama-spaza shop. Sonke siyakwazi lokho. Uma nje benganikwa ithuba bazakhele bona ngokwabo, isibalo sokudayiswa kwezindlu zomxhaso singancipha ngoba bazozizwa bengabanikazi bezindlu. (Translations of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[We are aware that we are faced with a problem and that is that our people are selling these RDP houses at reduced prices. Some people rent them out and others turn them into spaza shops. We all know that. If they can just be given an opportunity to build the houses on their own, then the rate at which these RDP houses are being sold can be reduced, because they will feel like owners.]
In building integrated human settlements it is necessary to also build a responsive citizenry. The building of homes must contribute to the building of communities. This is why the ANC government continues to promote and support the People's Housing Process, because of benefits attained like the development of skills, building of cohesive communities who take charge of their development and the creation of jobs.
According to the information provided by the SA Housing Co-operatives Association, SAHCA, a membership organisation of co-operatives has housed 8 900 families in urban housing and 1 100 in rural housing. This includes varying house typologies.
The ANC government has noted that these institutions serve a variety of target markets and operate in a variety of delivery areas and options, which require a broader response. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, the uniqueness of your character and commitment will not only bring realisation to Madiba's dream that there must be homes for all, but I also know that your honour is derived from fighting for your people. Over 300 years of colonial destructiveness cannot be restored in 19 years. The Group Areas Act put our people into the gutters.
The fact is that more people today have access to homes than before 1994. The hon Minister has originally started with 12m and went on to 18m, 20m, 25m, 30m and now he is at 40m houses. [Applause.] In view of this, we note that fewer units have been delivered and that the moving targets of urbanisation were another destabilising factor impacting on the backlog. The quality choice that the Minister took was the correct one.
Minister, you have a mammoth task to build an integrated society and although nothing much can be done with a free house, yet you strive and thrive to reach out to as many people as possible. Today we have thousands of National Home Builders Registration Council, NHBRC inspectors at various levels before one house can be paid, and we note that this is perhaps why things have slowed down in terms of the national output targets. The Minority Front, MF's, concern is whether we have put enough systems in place to persuade Treasury to allocate more money to housing.
Our hon President said that "the transfer of homes must be an asset from one generation to another". Hon Minister, we have to expedite the various grants and we must provide systems for flood victims. Like the Western Cape receiving an atmospheric allowance, KZN's topography pushes the cost up and likewise there should be an allowance.
The old housing list was problematic. Toay it is not as if there is no housing list, but it is dealt with differently. We have a social compact study and all stakeholders who serve on the steering committee draw up the list. Ravi Pillay, an MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, publicly said:
Once the beneficiary list is finalised, it must be tabled at a full council meeting and put on the municipal notice board for objections.
Clearly, this is a good model which will improve the checks and balances in the system. We must ensure that we have the necessary capacity controls in place to deal with the grants directed to municipalities. Regarding the consolidation bill in the eThekwini Municipality, it is fundamentally unfair for the poor to have their lights cut off. This nullifies government's policy on indigent people.
Hon Minister, under your watchful eye, the MF lauds your efforts for dealing decisively with the quality issue, tight monitoring and putting controls in place. We also thank the chairperson and the director-general for their impeccable leadership. Progressively marching forward, serving all, all the time, all the way and striving to build a better life for all, let's not be distracted by those who blow hot air. [Applause.] The MF will support the Budget Vote. [Applause.]
Sihlalo weNdlu yoWiso-mthetho, Malungu ePalamente, abantu bonke abakhoyo, ndivumeleni ndithi kuni molweni. Sihlalo, mandiqale ngeyokuqala yokuba umbutho wesizwe i-ANC, unyawo zabezolo, oyinisileyo imvula kwakhonya noomofu, uyayixhasa leVoti yoHlalo-lwabiwo-mali. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Mr J M MATSHOBA: Chairperson of the National Assembly, Members of Parliament, all the people present here, allow me to greet you. Chairperson, let me start by firstly saying that the ANC, the organisation with a very rich history, the one that has made things happen for the benefit of us all, supports the Budget Vote.] The ANC-led government has a political mandate of bringing dignity to the poorest citizens of this country by providing decent housing and eradicating informal settlements by 2014 in line with the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, and the ideal of a nation free of slums. We have come a long way.
In terms of section 26(1) of the Constitution everyone has the right of access to adequate housing. In terms of section 26(3) no one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without a court order issued after considering all the relevant circumstances. No legislation may permit arbitrary evictions.
Mandiyilungise le into. I-DA inempazamo eyenzayo yokuzifanisa ne-ANC kanti yona iyinkampani ayinguwo umbutho. Xa sithetha ngomba wokuziswa kweenkonzo ebantwini, i-ANC ayinantanga apha. Umbutho ocinga ukuba ungazifanisa ne- ANC, mawuncame! [Uwelewele.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Let me correct one thing. The DA is making the mistake of comparing itself to the ANC whereas it is a company, not an organisation. When we speak about delivering services to the people, the ANC doesn't have any equal. The organisation that thinks it can compare itself to the ANC must just give up! [Interjections.]]
As government we have to ensure each and every person who has been allocated a government subsidised house receives a full title deed after a happy letter has been signed. Studies have shown that there is often a delay in the awarding of title deeds to beneficiaries of government- subsidised housing. It has been established that the reasons for not awarding title deeds are often because of a failure by developers, both government and the private sector, to finalise the establishment and proclamation of new areas being developed for subsidised housing.
Projects go ahead without the approval of a general plan for the area, largely because the players involved lack either the time or expertise, or both, to address the many underlying issues that need to be resolved on certain tracts of land. Legislative, administrative and situational difficulties all contribute to the challenges. With the immense pressure on government officials to deliver housing at scale, the processes of township proclamation are sometimes short-circuited in favour of getting houses on the ground quickly.
In other instances, title deeds are registered but not handed over to owners. This is because owners of subsidy houses do not collect the title deeds as they do not understand their importance; conveyancers hold back the title deeds due to non-payment by the municipalities; the municipalities hold back the title deeds due to the sales restrictions on subsidy houses. The delay in issuing title deeds for subsidised houses fundamentally undermines the asset quality of government-subsidised housing and compromises the integrity of our Deeds Registry. This is a critical challenge facing the state, which must be addressed with urgency.
Government should review and amend the different pieces of legislation such as provincial ordinances and the Less Formal Township Establishment Act, to streamline processes relating to the registration of title deeds. There should be ongoing educational campaigns on the importance of title deeds to beneficiaries, using community leaders and civil organisations.
As the government, we acknowledge that there are many problems with the occupancy of state-provided homes. There had been complaints because houses were allegedly allocated to beneficiaries who were not on the waiting lists. The strategic approach of providing housing to our people is focused on national priorities, such as the creation of decent work, sustainable livelihoods, education and the improvement of health. In responding to these challenges, the department has established the National Housing Needs Register whose purpose is to serve as a co-ordinating instrument to obtain data related to the need for adequate housing on a national, provincial and municipal level.
Furthermore, the data collected via the housing needs registration process will be utilised for planning, budgeting and allocation of housing opportunities to potential beneficiaries. The data contained in the database could also be utilised for analysis and decision-making by various role-players at different levels of government. The National Housing Needs Register is also supported by guidelines for the allocation of housing opportunities to potential housing beneficiaries.
The process related to the capturing and approval of subsidy applications for a housing subsidy linked to a specific human settlement delivery project is a well-established process at provincial level, with over 90 000 subsidy applications that were captured, validated and approved by the provincial departments of human settlement during the previous financial year.
The interventions planned for the current financial year is to address certain shortcomings related to the implementation of the National Housing Needs Register in more provincial departments of Human Settlements. Also, the utilisation of the National Housing Needs Register by provincial ...
Ndiyabulela. [Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Chairperson, the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements said that George does not have a housing plan; but that is why we probably won the national award for excellent performance for housing. TYou must do your homework, Deputy Minister.
Chairperson, the fourth Parliament is nearing the end of a five-year period that has been marked with both success and failures within the national and provincial government spheres. Over the years we have had the opportunity to measure the performance of leaders across these spheres, especially their commitment to accountability and delivery and whether they had the political will to transform the Human Settlements sector. And today is such a day.
Hon Chairperson, the Minister of Human Settlements, Mr Tokyo Sexwale, paid the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements a visit on 14 May 2013 and provided an overview on critical issues which were seen as real challenges for the department in the financial year under review.
The first issue I want to address relates to the funding model on programmes within the Department of Human Settlements. At the moment there are a myriad of funding laws and policies under one department, while the actual function is under another; and although a basis has been laid in terms of policy, the above still tends to have a negative impact on the current funding model. The Minister and his department need to be proactive and ensure that all relevant departments are held accountable until a new approach can be brought about, if any.
Let me remind the Minister and the department that in my speech last year, I said that South Africans deserve better, particularly with regard to the delivery of quality housing for all through an integrated approach across governmental departments. Human settlements is only one of many departments within government that is meant to deliver a sustainable livelihood to South Africa's citizens. So, the Minister and his department must further ensure that inter-governmental relations are effective. After all, they play a crucial role in any well co-ordinated delivery strategy and can be the difference between failure and success.
It was quite encouraging when the hon Minister said that the power of accountability was in planning, and I absolutely agree with him. However, after almost two decades some of the most critical issues, which relate to a sound and well-planned administration are absent within the department. Key posts in the top structures are still vacant; supply chain management is ineffective; and there is a noted lack of a functional IT unit as well as a monitoring and evaluation unit. This is unacceptable, considering the high levels of unemployment which persist in our country, particularly among South Africa's qualified youth. Today I will hand over a letter to the Minister with a message from a young qualified girl whose hope of finding a job and access to a home is fading even further away.
The next challenge within the department is the huge title-deeds backlog. We acknowledge the fact that, in terms of the RDP housing developments, municipalities are at the delivery point. However, the department should strictly monitor and evaluate municipal progress and failures to ensure money provided for this purpose is used in a responsible manner. If not, measures have to be put in place to curb unnecessary delays. The department should also engage with relevant stakeholders to find innovative and effective solutions and apply them.
Chairperson, housing challenges can be reduced if the registering of RDP houses and developments were quicker and more effective. According to the Housing Act, beneficiaries must receive title deeds within three months of handover and may not sell their homes within eight years. Illegal occupancy of RDP houses is a serious problem and the department needs to assist and ensure that the rightful beneficiaries are traced and their title deeds handed over, as well as take action against those who illegally sold RDP houses.
To date, thousands of beneficiaries are still without title deeds and houses, while heartless opportunists exploit their desperation by buying and selling RDP homes and stands illegally.
This is in stark contrast to the DA-led Western Cape, where its department of human settlements initiated a study, Minister, in 2011 to determine the extent of its title-deeds backlog. Since then, the province has reduced its title deeds backlog to 28% and has issued over 20 000 title deeds in the process. [Applause.]
I wish to thank the Public Protector and the SA Human Rights Commission for highlighting this issue in their respective presentations to the portfolio committee. It is commendable that our Chapter 9 institutions play their role and hold government to account on behalf of all South Africans.
I have taken the opportunity to write a letter to the Public Protector in which I formally requested that a full national investigation be conducted, including all nine provinces and the country's 283 municipalities, to determine the backlog in the transfer of title deeds, Minister. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Chairperson, the national title deeds backlog is currently prohibiting thousands of South Africans from owning property and participating in the mainstream economy. These title deeds provide holders with security, proof of residence, collateral when procuring loans and credit and allow them to invest in their future. [Interjections.]
I wish to thank our portfolio chairperson, Mrs Dambuza ... [Time expired.] [Applause.] Thank you.
Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the Human Settlements family ...
Ngivumele, Sihlalo, ngikhumbute bantfu bakitsi eNingizimu Afrika kutsi ngemnyaka wanga-1913, lapho hulumende welusuku ashaya khona umtsetfo, mhla ti-19 Inhlaba 1913, lapho atsatsela khona bantfu labamnyama imihlaba yabo. Incenye lenganga-87% yonkhe yemhlaba yatsatfwa yaniketwa labanye bantfu ngalokungekho emtsetfweni, bantfu bekufika labeta ngemikhumbi kulelive ngabo-1652, bantfu labamhlophe banikwa live labokhokho betfu labamnyama basala nemncwetjana welive longaba ngu-13% kuphela kutsi babelane ngawo futsi babangisane ngawo.
Sihlalo lohlon, leso sento saba buhlungu kakhulu kubantfu labamnyama ngobe behliswa sitfunti. Bantfu labamnyama babengakavunyelwa kutsi batsenge imihlaba ibintwe ngemabito abo njengebanikati. Loko kwenta kutsi bantfu labamnyama batikhandze sebabekwe etindzaweni lapho kwakumatima khona kutsi bangatfola tinsita. Loyo hulumende wangaleso sikhatsi bekanakekela kuphela bantfu labamhlophe ngobe kuye bantfu labamnyama bekungesibo bantfu. Ngalamafisha abebabona titfunti kungena emeneni, angabacaphelisisi kahle.
Hulumende loholwa nguKhongolose wenta konkhe lokusemandleni akhe kutsi bantfu batfole tinsita. Kuletinye tindzawo kusematima ngisho nalamhla nje kutsi bantfu batfole tinsita ngobe babekwe emaweni nasetintsabenti, lapho hulumende angakhoni khona kufaka emaphayiphi. Indlela langaphumelela ngayo kutsi abambisane nebahlali bakuleto tindzawo, nabo bavume kutfutfwa bayiswe etindzaweni lapho bangakhona khona kuhlaliswa kahle banikwe netinsita njengobe batidzinga nje. (Translation of Siswati paragraphs follows.)
[Allow me, Chairperson, to remind our people in South Africa that in 1913 the government of the day passed a law, on 19 June 1913, whereby black people were dispossessed of their land. About 87% of the land was taken and illegally given to other people - foreigners who came by ships into this country around 1652. White people were given our ancestors' land, and blacks were left with a mere 13% of land which they shared and fought over.
Hon Chairperson, that act was very painful to black people because they were humiliated. Blacks were not allowed to buy land and register it under their names as owners. That made black people find themselves placed in areas that made it difficult for them to access services. The government of the day was taking care only of white people, because in the eyes of that government black people were not considered as humans. In other words, it was looking down on them; it had no regard for them.
The ANC-led government does its level best to ensure that people have access to services. Even today it is still difficult for our people in some places to receive services because they were settled on mountains and cliffs, where the government is unable to install pipes for water supply and disposal of waste. Government will succeed if it co-operates with the residents of these areas and the residents must also agree to be relocated to areas where they will be properly settled and will be able to access services as they need them.] It is against this background that the Housing Development Agency, HDA, was established through the Housing Development Agency Act, Act 23 of 2008. The Act states that the agency must, in consultation with the relevant owner, identify, acquire, hold, develop and release state, privately and communally owned land for residential and community purposes for the creation of sustainable human settlements. The HDA assists all spheres of government to identify, acquire, hold and release state land for human settlements development.
Hon Chairperson, we therefore urge communities not to invade any land, either in urban or rural areas. Although there is a serious need for land in terms of human settlements, proper preparations need to be done before people are settled on any piece of land. Feasibility and environmental studies must be done, and municipalities should plan and budget for bulk infrastructure and other basic services needed for human settlements. This would assist the ANC government to deliver services to the people.
Baholi bendzabuko kufanele nabo basisite ngekusebentisana nahulumende ekutseni bangacali basikele bantfu titandi kucala bangakabonisani nahulumende nemkhandlu wendzawo mayelana nekutsi bantfu bangahlaliswa njani kuleyo ndzawo. Ngitsandza kubonga nekuncoma futsi bukhosi bakaMatsamo eNkomazi kulaseMpumalanga, ngobe bona busebenta ngekubambisana nahulumende kanye nemkhandlu waseNkomazi kutsi bavimbele bantfu bangatisikeli ngekwabo titandi. (Translation of Siswati paragraph follows.)
[Traditional leaders must also assist us by working together with government, not allocating stands to people before consulting with the government and the local council as to how people could be settled in that area. I would like to thank and commend the Matsamo Traditional Authority at Nkomazi in Mpumalanga, because it works together with government and the local council of Nkomazi to prevent people from allocating stands to themselves.]
Chairperson, our country continues to face huge challenges, one of which remains creating sustainable human settlements both in rural and urban areas. Since the advent of democracy, the ANC-led government has achieved a lot in the provision of housing, sanitation and sustainable human settlements, but more still needs to be done.
One of the challenges we continue to face is rapid urbanisation, as people migrate from rural to urban areas in pursuit of better economic conditions and employment prospects in the urban centres of our country. We cannot address this challenge by only prioritising programmes that target addressing the needs of households once they are in urban areas. We also need to look at what needs to be done to improve employment opportunities and human settlement conditions in rural areas. Our programmes should strive to achieve a better life for all.
Chairperson, the Census 2011 results stated that close to 19 million people in South Africa live in rural areas. This number constitutes 40% of the South African population. Clearly, rural areas remain a very important part of our country that we dare not ignore in terms of government interventions intended to create a better life for all. In fact, the rural areas of our country remain a sore reminder of what apartheid policies did to our people.
The ANC government has adopted rural development as one of its key priorities during this term. The question that we, as the Human Settlement sector have to answer, is what have we done to contribute to the creation of sustainable human settlements in rural areas as this term draws to an end? To what extent have we as the Human Settlements sector enabled communities in rural areas to reap the fruits of our democracy and also enjoy development dividends?
We should urge the democratic government to establish new towns and cities as part of the rural development strategy. Rural development, taken seriously and effectively implemented by government and all social partners, means the development of new towns and cities so that people will not see the need to migrate to faraway cities to access better economic prospects and better living conditions. This might also minimise the mushrooming of informal settlements in and around our cities.
Chairperson, the government's infrastructure programme, announced by the hon President in his state of the nation address in 2011, serves as an enabler to promote the development of many rural areas that were neglected in the past. In addition, the National Development Plan's chapter on an inclusive rural economy presents yet another opportunity to create new centres for development in rural areas.
In the 2010-11 financial year the National Treasury introduced a rural households infrastructure grant for a three-year period allocated to the department. This grant's aim was to implement basic water and sanitation to rural households. Over the period of three years 56 608 toilets were delivered through this grant.
In the 2010-11 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period the department delivered 357 710 units, and each house was provided with a toilet, thus contributing to the reduction of the sanitation backlog.
The rural households infrastructure grant has been extended from the initial three years to five years. The grant has, however, been converted from an indirect grant to a direct grant in 2013-14, which reflects direct transfers to municipalities. One of those municipalities that benefited from this grant is Inkomazi Municipality in my area. It is a rural municipality, and other municipalities have benefited throughout the country.
While recognising some genuine difficulties confronting provinces, such as the absence of bulk infrastructure due to inadequate capital expenditure, the situation cannot be tolerated where weak excuses are put forward that deadlock delivery to communities. This malaise is essentially the result of the combination of two factors, namely the employment of officials and people with little or no experience at all to administer huge human settlements funds at provincial and local levels; and the hiring of questionable contractors to participate in large-scale housing construction projects.
This year the ANC government is determined to see the last of this underexpenditure whilst our people remain stuck on growing housing lists.
Chairperson, it is in this context that the ANC government has to be commended for having had the foresight in 1996 when it established the Rural Housing Loan Fund. This entity enables rural households to access housing finance in order to improve their housing conditions and living environments. Working through an intermediary network of nonbank lenders, the Rural Housing Loan Fund has enabled a little over 300 000 households to access finance to improve their housing conditions. Many of these households include professionals who cannot access mortgage finance or the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy programme, Flisp, simply because they choose to improve their housing conditions on communal land.
Chairperson, we need to encourage our people to take courage and improve their housing conditions. We need to leverage the spirit of Vukuzenzele as many of our people do not wait for government to do things for them. Once enabled to access finance, many people are willing and able to drive their own development process, as the Rural Housing Loan Fund, RHLF, has proved over the past years.
The challenge for government is to provide financial support to entities such as RHLF, which enable people to improve their human settlement conditions rather than waiting for government to deliver such to them. However, we need to recognise that there are still too many people in the rural areas that cannot afford housing credit.
In conclusion, the ANC government as a caring government is expediting the implementation of rural housing projects across rural areas. In addition, the People's Housing Process must be encouraged, and other innovative housing delivery approaches such as the individual rural housing voucher programme, which was intended to enable people in rural areas to purchase building material to build their houses, must be implemented. The finance- linked ... [Interjections.] The ANC supports the Budget Vote. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Chairperson, firstly let me take the opportunity, as we close, to express appreciation for the participation in this debate by all members. This is probably our last Budget Vote.
Secondly, I would like to express appreciation for the role that is being played by my deputy, Zoe Kota-Fredericks, who does all the foreign travels. As Minister, I have never undertaken a single foreign trip, because I have to be here to deal with the problems that you are raising here. She does all the international travels. I want to thank her for keeping the lights burning whilst we know that she has a family behind her. [Applause.] Thirdly, I would like to express appreciation to the director-general and Team Human Settlements, together with our advisors, for the role they play. This is one major job, because we are turning around the whole country - apartheid did damage here, serious damage.
I am taking my time now, because earlier today, when I read my 20-minute speech as Minister, I had to read fast, and some of the things may have gone over your heads. Read the speech very carefully, because that is where the detail, as well as policy changes, lie.
I also have to express my appreciation to my staff led by the chief of staff Meloney van Eck, together with the rest of the team. They take everything that comes at us and have to make sure that the detail of the work that I do is uppermost. [Applause.] A word also to all the leaders, chairpersons and chief executive officers of the entities, of our boards, for doing the kind of work that is telling. These boards are difficult to run; they are like private companies. We appreciate what they do.
No one in this House should play political football with housing. Everybody, particularly people who are black - and I have never used this term; you have never heard me say that before- should have an appreciation of what this government is doing for black people. [Applause.] I say this because, Mr Mokgalapa, you are a very good critic, but sometimes you forget that you are a black person. [Interjections.] It is very important - we are talking about the year 1913. We lost a country then, and we are trying to fix this mess. What we would like you to do within your party, the DA, a very important South African party, is to transform it. Don't be transformed by it. [Applause.]
Not as much as you are failing the poor!
As Minister I am in charge of sanitation. This stinking sanitation mess started here in Makhaza. That is where this thing started. To come and blow hot and cold in public about sanitation when the mess started with you shows how little people know and how misinformed some people are. [Interjections.] Hon Duncan from the DA, I appreciate your advice. I spend sleepless nights on this question of the title deeds. Director-general, we have a job to do. Let people get their title deeds or documents that say there is something going their way. [Applause.]
With reference to the corruption hotline, I want to state that I don't know how people can stand on this podium and say that the government or the Ministry doesn't have a corruption hotline. The number is 0800 201 201. Listen to this: The Department of Human Settlements occupies the number one position in the Cabinet, at 97%, in dealing with the complaints that come from the corruption hotline. [Applause.]
Then I must mention how misinformed people can be. There is no underexpenditure of R4 billion. There is no such thing. The numbers are here. You give the money, Members of Parliament. We have not underspent by R4 billion. There is no such thing. A very misinformed journalist threw out that number in January. We have just closed our books. There is no such R4 billion. Our underexpenditure is below 5%. Add 3% allowed under the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF. Therefore, to continue to propagate this R4 billion just shows how much people are not reading and not thinking.
With regard to corruption, here are the numbers - and some of you are involved in these things. There are over 5 000 cases of people that have been arrested. Monies have been recovered, lawyers struck off the roll, companies blacklisted. Where does it come from that we don't act? Anyway, congratulations for being participants in the budget debate. [Laughter.] We are not here to play political football with the lives of our people. I want to take it that most of us here - 99% of us - are committed to the struggle in respect of the poor. However, there are some who are so misinformed that they should not enjoy the privilege to stand behind this podium. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]