690 000 houses built in KZN since democracy

KwaZulu-Natal has made strides in the delivery of housing units, with a total of 690 000 housing units having been built since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

This is among the province’s achievements highlighted by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, delivering the State of the Province Address on Wednesday.

‘We have built 690 000 housing units in KwaZulu-Natal, which means more than 2.8 million KZN citizens live in houses built by this democratic government. This excludes the 130 000 sites that have been made available over the same 30-year period,’ Dube-Ncube said.

Reflecting on the strides made towards the provision of decent housing and housing opportunities, Dube-Ncube said a total of 52 974 fully subsidised houses were built for qualifying destitute families in various parts of the province, with 36 400 of the housing units replacing mud houses.

Dube-Ncube also noted the breakthroughs made in the delivery of houses for military veterans, as well as 16 973 serviced sites that were made available to people who
could afford to build their own top structures.

She said the 19 social housing projects have delivered 2 532 rented units, targeting people that can afford to pay rent in the social housing schemes.

This is in addition to 1 116 rental units that were delivered in community residential units (CRU).

The 22 priority development areas were declared to support targeted areas, including KwaDukuza Town/Hyde Park-Nonoti Area, Empangeni, Richards Bay, eSikhaleni Vulindlela Corridor, Msunduzi North and East Development Areas, uMlazi/Austerville, Ladysmith Development Area and Newcastle, among others.

‘In order to address the upgrading of informal settlements and farm workers’ challenges, vast land parcels have been acquired in areas, including 51 6817 hectares in Emadlangeni; 132 6170 hectares in Newcastle (Farm Boschhoek); 57 2682 hectares in Abaqulusi, and 86 5623 hectares in lnkosi Langalibalele, among others,’ the Premier said.

Dube-Ncube also announced that the rented buildings, known as Transitional Emergenc
y Accommodations (TEAs), have been closed in all other municipalities, except eThekwini Metro.

During the 2023 SOPA, Dube-Ncube reported that all 135 halls (Mass Care Centres) were closed prior to the deadline of 2022 Christmas eve.

The Premier reported that the so called “Truro Hall Northdale Flood Victims” are now happily integrating with the community of Copesville where their permanent homes are being provided.

‘Through subsidised housing, our cities are slowly being transformed while we are addressing the formation of informal settlements and providing housing for our military veterans. One of these projects is the Vulindlela Rural Housing Project, at R2.4 billion, which has created over 1 832 jobs,’ Dube-Ncube said.

Households vulnerable to hunger drop to 12%

Noting another milestone since the advent of democracy, Dube-Ncube said the number of households in the province that are vulnerable to hunger has decreased to 12%.

‘A total of 50% of the province’s households were vulnerable to hunger in 200
4, but this figure dropped to 12% in 2022. Since 2019, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development supported 17 266 smallholder producers and through the Multi-Planting Season programme, 150 000 hectares were planted for food production across the province to support food production.

‘Through the One Home One Garden, Seed and Seedlings Multiplication Programme, and other food security interventions, the department supported 128 205 food insecure households from 2019 to date, and supported a total of 79 142 subsistence producers,’ Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier said she has tasked the Agriculture and Rural Development MEC to set up a special purpose vehicle, and transfer the Agri-Hubs and Commercial Mechanisation Programme to speed up implementation.

‘This special purpose vehicle will attract investment, increase production, and create domestic and export markets for our farmers and be self-funding.’

Source: South African Government News Agency