The Minister for Human Settlements presented the budget vote address to Parliament on 9 May 2012. He highlighted the progress made in the last financial year.
89% of the 2011 budget was spent and approximately 180,000 housing opportunities were delivered. This was less than the targeted 200,000 because of low economic performance, inflation, increased building material and other costs.
Over R400 million was spent on repairing poorly built houses. It was noted that these houses pre-dated 2002 and that current constructions are of a higher quality.
The Office of Disclosure has been established which will play an oversight role in promoting fair lending practices by financial institutions.
There has been significant progress in the upgrading of slums, access to basic services, and land acquisition for human settlements.
The Rental Housing Amendment Bill which requires that all rental disputes go through an internal appeal mechanism before being referred to the High Court recently went through Parliament and will provide relief to many tenants who cannot afford High court proceedings.
Various initiatives have been launched to combat corruption in the sector.
Looking forward, the report highlighted that sanitation has been elevated to a national strategic priority within the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (PICC). In addition, the Ministerial Sanitation Task Team has completed its investigations and has tabled its preliminary findings which will be published soon. Moreover, various measures are in place to assist households to gain access to housing finance, including the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme announced in the State of the Nation Address, as well as the Home Ownership Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee fund.
SELECTED PRIORITIES FOR THE 2012-2014 BUDGET PERIOD:
The Human Settlements Development Grant for provinces has been allocated R5,7 billion.
The Rural Households Infrastructure Programme has been allocated R8,5 million for the eradication of sanitation and water backlogs.
R 100 million has been allocated to accelerate housing delivery.
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