Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete: Human Settlements Dept Budget Vote 2023/24

Speech by Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Honourable Pam Tshwete on the occasion of Budget Vote 33, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Thank you Honourable House Chairperson:

Good afternoon Minister Kubayi

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Hon. Semenya Ministers and Deputy Ministers

MECs of Human Settlements Honourable Members of Parliament

Acting DG, DDGs and senior government officials Chairpersons and CEOs of our entities

Ladies and Gentlemen who are streaming on-line from the City of Cape Town Council Chambers

All the viewers who have joined us on-line I greet you all this afternoon

House Chairperson, it is exciting that for the first time after being on strict lockdown or with limited movements, we are congregating physically here in Parliament, to table our budget vote speeches as we used to do in the past.

In the last financial year, as the Department of Human Settlements, we observed the will and impact on the implementation of the District Development Model – where the three spheres of government are beginning to appreciate the importance of working as a collective.

As a result, we can mention two areas of significance: Harry Gwala and Central Karoo District Municipalities where we demonstrated successfully how the three spheres of Government can implement programmes together.

In our quest to accelerate service delivery to the community of Kromhoek, under Harry Gwala District Municipality, we invited Deputy Ministers and other political principals from the Province and Municipalities to a service delivery programme.

On that day, nine Deputy Ministers attended the engagement. I would like to thank the Deputy Ministers for their continued support. All Departments through their respective Deputy Ministers made specific commitments relating to several service delivery issues. For example, the Department of Human Settlements committed to building eighty-four (84) BNG houses for destitute families that were identified by the community.

To demonstrate that these commitments were not rhetoric, to date through the provincial Department of Human Settlements in KwaZulu Natal, these houses are in different phases of construction. We have been assured that in August this year, all the houses will be completed and handed over to the rightful owners.

To confirm our commitment to women’s empowerment, let me proudly announce that these houses are built by a woman contractor (Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi)

It comes with great pleasure and honor for me to inform the house that in the next few days, together with the sister Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) we will realize a sign off ceremony of an MOU giving effect to the implementation of the human settlements greening programme. The MOU will be valid for three years with a possibility of an extension. The programme is intended to provide one indigenous tree and one fruit tree to each home during housing handover programmes.

House Chairperson, I was privileged last week on Thursday to accompany Minister Kubayi to an Imbizo in SOWETO. During our engagement with the communities, we urged them to understand our commitment to prioritize destitute cases which include the elderly, persons with disabilities, and child-headed households. What was more interesting was that this commitment was appreciated and supported by all members of the community.

As we are about to conclude the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) period 2019/24, the Department has provided over two thousand (2000) Military Veterans with adequate housing throughout the nine (9) Provinces.

Isebe le Human Settlements likwiphulo lokuqinisekisa ukuba zonke ii Military Veterans zakhelwe izindlu zazo. Sise nazo iingxaki and masikhumbuze ii provinces ezisacothayo ukuba mazakhele la maqhawe, bakhumbule apho la maqhawe asuka khona. Sithetha ngabantu abancama izindlu zabo, bancama amakhaya abo, bancama ii family nabazali babo, baphuma iphulo beyokulwela inguqu eMzantsi Afrika. Sikule nkululeko esikuyo nje namhlanje, kungenxa yabo, kodwa ke nakubo sithi sizimisele ukuba zizalisekiswe iimfuno zabo.

To fast-track the delivery of houses to Military Veterans, in February this year, we convened a meeting between National and Provincial Departments of Human Settlements, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and representatives of the Military Veterans Structures. As a collective, we agreed that we are going to have follow-up meetings which will include the Department of Military Veterans and the office of the Eastern Cape Premier, with the intention to unlock challenges raised.

We will continue to engage with the Department of Military Veterans to prioritize and fast-track the beneficiary verification process, so that together we continue to address the plight of our military veterans.

The President of the country, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, in his 2023 State of National Address, continued to put emphasis on the forty percent set-aside for women-owned businesses. It is encouraging that during the financial year 2022/23, some of our provinces have already heeded the call and have performed extremely well in this respect. These include: Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, North West, and Limpopo.

I must add Honourable Chairperson that we do have provinces and Metropolitan Municipalities that are still struggling to meet this target. We are hopeful that with our continued support and guidance they will improve this current financial year.

The Department is committed to implementing a sector wide approach to sector transformation. This approach is implemented, monitored, and reported in collaboration with provinces, municipalities and our entities.

Our sector transformation programme focuses on five areas:

Procurement spend

Training opportunities for youth and persons with disabilities

Job creation

Allocation of housing opportunities

And Transformation of spaces

Honourable Members, we will not stop advocating for women’s inclusion in this male-dominated industry. In August this year, the Department of Human Settlements is planning to host a Women in Construction Indaba, which is aimed at outlining opportunities available in the sector. This will include National and Provincial Departments, Municipalities, and our entities.

The past three years have been the most difficult for our country and the world at large. When we thought life was getting back to normal, the provinces of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, North West and Gauteng were severely affected by the realities of climate change.

On the 24th of May last year, we visited Deelpan Village in North West where the community experienced severe flooding due to heavy rainfalls. The National Department allocated funds for the Province to respond to the disaster.

We have challenges of land in Deelpan and with these disasters it is important to work closely with the Traditional leaders so that they can assist us with availing land.

Towards the end of March this year, we visited Port St Johns, Eastern Cape after a disaster. This was after four Local Municipalities in OR Tambo were hit by floods which left thousands of people displaced.

Honourable Members, the Department will be presenting the Govan Mbeki awards to top performing provinces and entities. The following are some of the categories for the awards:

New Technologies

Innovative Social Facilitative Work

And Civil Society Groups that work with government

House Chairperson, let me share that as a country, we are seen to be pioneers and advanced in certain areas of our work. I had the pleasure of engaging with the Ugandan Minister of State for Housing on critical issues of land and lessons on Real Estate, during their recent visit to our country. The delegation from Uganda visited South Africa for a bench-marking exercise specifically on our Real Estate sector.

In conclusion House Chairperson, in 1995 at the send-off of our first Minister of Housing in a democratic government, Mr Joe Slovo, the former President Mandela said: and I quote – “I wish on behalf of Government to reiterate that the course Joe Slovo had charted will continue to guide us in fulfilling the housing programme. His firmness in dealing with obstacles to this programme will remain one of the central features of our work” – close quote.

Honourable Members, housing the nation is our collective responsibility. We call on private sector, NGOs and communities to continue working with us to accelerate housing delivery. We remain committed to sustainable human settlements and improving the quality of household life.

I thank you, ndiyabulela, kealeboga, baie dankie!

Source: Government of South Africa