Pretoria – Human Settlements Deputy Minister, Zou Kota-Fredericks, says the formalisation of 206 informal settlements in the country has been completed.
According to the deputy minister, of the 2 700 informal settlements that exist countrywide, 1 100 of these have been identified for upgrading.
Presenting the department’s Budget Vote in Parliament, Kota-Fredericks said a further 335 were in the pipeline.
“The National Upgrading Support Programme is currently being rolled out to ensure that 49 municipalities have the necessary capacity.”
She said government will continue to triple efforts to ensure service delivery, including the provision of shelter to the homeless.
Kota-Fredericks said with more than half the country’s population being urbanised, government’s strategy on urban planning and development was undergoing a radical shift in order to adequately respond to urbanisation.
“Many job seekers in urban areas are not looking to stay in a permanent home but are seeking rental accommodation,” she said, adding that about 80 000 rental opportunities would be created by 2014.
Regarding the improvement of access to basic services, Kota-Fredericks said they were playing a supportive role to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the provision of water, electricity, refuse removal and sanitation.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, during his budget speech in February, said total spending on housing, water, electricity, community amenities amounted to R122 billion for 2011/12, rising to R138 billion in 2013/14. – BuaNews