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Budget Vote 38: Human Settlements BY Hon. Wolmarans 10 May 2018

Honourable Chairperson;

Honourable Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo and other Ministers present;

Honourable Deputy Minister;

Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlement;

Members of Parliament;

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Our people have been living in squalor for far too long and the struggle towards achieving the Freedom Charter's aspirations of houses, security and comfort for all still continues . Ensuring that all South Africans live in decent conditions in the form of suitable human settlements is a commitment that the ANC-led government will continue to advance and realise progressively . The work performed by the Department of Human Settlements through its budget allocation assists in transforming the living conditions of our people for the better. This is why the ANC supports the budget for the Department of Human Settlements.

Title Deeds

One of the ways of addressing the historical dispossession of our people and improving their quality of life is through the provision of title deeds. In our 2014 Manifesto we, the ANC, and no other party, committed to eliminate a historical backlog of title deeds and that new home-owners in the subsidy market will be issued with title deeds on occupation .

The objective of the title deeds restoration programme is to promote and foster an increase in household wealth which advances the eradication of poverty and inequality. We are encouraged by the progress made in provinces such as Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng. Delivering on this objective has not been a simple and easy task and a streamlined approach is required to manage title deeds.

One cannot ignore the evidence where the department is making provisions and showing an effort in ensuring our people's security of tenure and enabling them to participate in the economy through issuing homeowners with their title deeds. The new title deed restoration grant which is allocated R518 million in the 2018/19 financial year is proof that the ANC-led government is committed to the task at hand . In addition, Programme 3, Human Settlements Delivery Support, of the department has been allocated R95.1 million over the medium term to provide technical and administrative support to provinces in order to eradicate the title deeds backlog by the 2020/21 financial year .

We are confident that these conditional grant to provinces will enhance the drive towards issuing title deeds to our beneficiaries, promote equity and entrench ownership.

Mining Towns

The revitalization of mining towns is another area that the African National Congress is focused on as it embarks on improving the quality of life for our people which the apartheid state deliberately configured to be characterised by degrading and inhuman conditions. In the ANC's 53rd and 54th conference resolutions we committed to improve the living conditions of people living in mining towns through upgrading and transforming these dwellings into integrated communities.

As a result, the Medium Term Strategic Framework outlines a target of 22 mining towns to be supported through human settlement interventions . It is therefore no surprise that the Department of Humans Settlements has ring-fenced funding for distressed mining towns and labour sending areas.

We are pleased that 1300 planed sites and 324 units in Matjhabeng Local Municipality, in the Free State Province, form part of the project of revitalizing mining towns in our country .

Military Veterans

Military Veterans have not been forgotten or neglected in the life and work of the Department of Human Settlements. Instead, the department's 2018/19 plans and budget reflect the ANC's 53rd and 54th National Conference Resolutions where we committed to improve the living conditions of our military veterans . We also made a commitment to fast-track and complete the provision of housing to military veterans through appropriate consultation and applicable legislation. The Free State Province is a shining example in this regard as it has earmarked R10million of its 2018/19 budget towards the funding of housing projects for military veterans .

Apart from providing housing opportunities and building sustainable human settlments, the department through its entity, the National Home Builders Regulation Council (NHBRC), will facilitate the training of 450 military veterans in the 2018/19 financial year . The NHBRC which is responsible for regulating the home building industry in South Africa, will equip military veterans together with other designated groups with technical and home construction skills that will enable them to actively participate in the construction and home building sector .

This intervention is in line with the commitment we made to provide and implement structured support and economic opportunities to black-owned companies in the housing and residential property sector, with special attention to those owned by women, youth, military veterans, and people with disabilities.

We want to appeal to provincial departments to align their priorities in line with the priorities set by the national department. Our appeal is informed by the Division of Revenue Act and the Integrated Housing & Human Settlement Development Grant.

The ANC supports the budget.

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