- Human Settlements Vision 2030
- People's Housing Process (PHP)
- Women in housing
- Housing institutions
Following President Jacob Zuma's proclamation in 2009 to change the Department of Housing to the Department of Human Settlements, the focus shifted from housing being just a roof over people's heads, to providing sustainable and integrated human settlements where people can work, pray, play and have access to amenities required for their day-to- day living.
The mandate of the Department of Human Settlements is to facilitate the creation of sustainable human settlements and improve the quality of household life. Its functions are to determine, finance, promote, communicate and monitor the implementation of housing and sanitation programmes.
The department committed itself to improving the quality of life of 400 000 households through upgrading informal settlements in 45 priority municipalities. To enable more integrated planning of human settlements, 27 municipalities were to be accredited to carry out the housing function.
By 2012, the Department of Human Settlements achieved 7% of its 171 targets. During the year, it created over 76 000 job opportunities. Of these, about 50 000 were direct, 5 000 indirect and 22 000 induced.
Regarding public-private partnerships, the department successfully partnered a number of stakeholders; for example, houses were built in Mazista and Skierlik in North West on land donated by a farmer.
The Vulindlela-enhanced People's Housing Process (PHP) Project was initiated in the rural Msunduzi Municipality near Pietermaritzburg, with a target of building 25 000 houses within a five-year period. By May 2012, 6 000 had been completed.
Human Settlements Vision 2030: On the Road to 2050 is to no longer have poverty traps in rural and urban areas. It looks at eradication of backlogs of more than 2,1 million housing units, which translates to about 12,5 million people.
The Each-One-Settle-One Campaign was launched by the then Minister of Human Settlements, Mr Tokyo Sexwale, in 2012 at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in partnership with the top 200 companies.
The campaign motivates stakeholders, private sector institutions, donor agencies and ordinary citizens to help the department to reduce the housing backlog. By May 2012, land distribution by human settlements was over 78 000 hence the value of the house was no more just linked to price of the top structure but was inclusive of the total value of the land.
The People's Housing Process [PDF] is a government housing-delivery mechanism that supports households who wish to enhance their subsidies by building their own homes or organising between themselves the building of their homes
Thanks to initiatives such as the Women's Build and the Women in Housing Indaba, women's participation in the construction industry is projected to significantly increase to reach the 50% target for female-owned projects in housing construction by 2014, including disabled women and youth.
The South African Women in Construction initiative was placed in charge of relatively large projects. Their outstanding projects included China Square, where 500 houses were completed. They are also involved in the Soul City project, where they were improving 1 000 units that were badly built.
In November 2012, the handover of 56 houses built by women as part of the Department of Human Settlements' Women's Month activities took place in the KwaMathukuza community.
The department's support institutions play an important role in enhancing the norms and standards of housing, as well as making housing more accessible to all South Africans. They also facilitate the specific housing and housing related needs of the market, in addition to the role provincial governments and municipalities play.
The institutions are:
- National Home-Builders Registration Council
- National Housing Finance Corporation
- National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency
- Rural Housing Loan Fund
- Housing Development Agency
- Social Housing Regulatory Authority.
One of the Department of Human Settlements' areas of responsibility is to provide housing subsidies [PDF] to the poor. This is where the bulk of the housing backlog exists, affecting mainly those who earn below R3 500 a month.
Housing susidies are either paid directly to the seller of a house on behalf of the qualifying beneficiary or, in new developments, the subsidy is used to finance the construction of a house that complies with the ministerial minimum norms and standards. The house is then transferred to the qualifying beneficiary.Source: Pocket Guide to South Africa 2012/13