South Africa Earmarks R121.5bn for Local Government, Human Settlements

By Brindaveni Naidoo
[3 November 2011] -- Government has set aside R121.5-billion for local government and human settlements for 2011/12, as it moves to eradicate its housing backlog and steps up efforts to improve service delivery.
Spending on local government and human settlements increased from R68-billion in 2008/9 to R121.5-billion in 2011/12, at an average yearly rate of 21.3 %, the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), released on Tuesday, indicated.
Government said it was committed to extending community development programmes, including the human settlements development and urban settlements development infrastructure grants that flow to provinces and metropolitan municipalities.
According to Statistics South Africa, there are about 1.2-million households in the country’s informal settlements; hence the medium-term priority for government was to upgrade such settlements in 45 large cities and towns, providing poor households with improved living conditions in areas where they are able to access economic opportunities.
National Treasury indicated that in increasing the provision of services to households in informal settlements, capital expenditure forms the largest share of human settlements allocations over the medium-term expenditure framework period.
The national upgrading support programme targets long-term interventions required to scale up infrastructure delivery.
Funded through the human settlements grant to provinces, the housing programme delivered about 900 000 units between 2007/8 and 2010/11 to households earning below R3 500 a month.
The social housing programme, a medium-density rental housing initiative for households earning between R1 500 a month and R7 500 a month, delivered 8 155 units between 2006/7 and 2011/12.
This article was first published on Creamer Media’s Engineering News Online 25 October 2011
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