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.