Housing crisis prompts government action in Delmas

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Housing crisis prompts government action in Delmas

To tackle the mounting housing backlog in Delmas, the Mpumalanga MEC for Human
Settlements, Mr Speed Mashilo, recently appeared before the Committee on Women,
Youth, Children and People Living with Disabilities to address petitions from the Victor
Khanye Local Municipality. The petitions centred on access to government-subsidized
housing, the application process, and strategies to reduce the housing shortage.

Mashilo acknowledged the province’s stubbornly high housing need, stating, “The
province has over 250,000 housing backlog and this number has remained the same for
some time, it is our elephant in the room.” He urged municipalities to provide serviced
sites for self-build purposes and called for collaboration between the public and private
sectors, especially mines.

According to the National Housing Needs Register, the housing backlog in the Victor
Khanye Local Municipality alone stands at 7,680 individuals in need of homes. To
address this, the Department is currently servicing 500 stands across the municipality,
now at 93% completion. The Municipal Council will determine the number of sites
reserved for government-subsidized units and houses for middle-income earners.

In partnership with the private sector, the Department and municipality have
collaborated with Mbuyelo Mine for the development of Abor Township. Additionally, the
application for the development of 2,000 stands in Waaikraal Farm is receiving attention
from the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Land Reform.

Speaking on behalf of the community, Mr Philemon Gumede highlighted the dire need
for housing and urged the government to give urgent attention to the Delmas
community. He also called for a strong resolve to address the illegal occupation of
houses and questioned the process of allocating housing.

The Acting Head of Human Settlements, Ms. Hazel Zitha, explained that the national
qualifying criteria require priority to be given to vulnerable and needy groups. “The

Department’s allocation policy directs that when allocating units, priority is given to the
elderly, child-headed families, and people living with disabilities,” Zitha stated.