Mpumalanga to put more focus on growing towns
24 January 2014
In preparing for the roll-out of the 2014/15 financial year and beyond, the Department of Human Settlements will put more emphasis on developing economic active and growing towns. The department’s leadership, senior officials, sector departments and other stakeholders concluded a two-day Strategic Planning Session developing plans and strategies to deliver on its mandate. The mandate requires the Department create integrated sustainable human settlements by coordinating all plans and delivery machinery with all stakeholders within the built environment.
There is a growing trend that more people from rural areas are moving to developing areas in search of better job opportunities. “We have to focus on where people are moving to and towns for employment and better living conditions”, emphasised MEC, Andrias Gamede. The province has a huge demand for housing in especially the municipalities of Mbombela, eMalahleni, Msukaligwa, Govan Mbeki, and Steve Tshwete, hence the need for a clear focus to these areas as primary nodes. The delivery of housing units in these areas will be delivered in an integrated and sustainable manner where all social amenities such as halls, recreational facilities, shops, health, educational facilities and police stations, amongst others are constructed on a progressive basis. On the same breath, the delivery of services in rural areas for rural development purposes will still continue
The session also had an opportunity to engage with the Provincial Human Settlements Master Plan which is currently being developed. The plan will serve as a blue-print as to how the province should develop by using this detailed road-map. The plan is being developed in line with the policy development manuscript, the National Development Plan, provincial, municipal plans and other related policy prescripts. Consultant Mr Theo Pretorius charges that “the province has best land for possible development of functional towns to realise the goals of the plan”. Statistics indicate that by effective utilisation of existing pieces of land; the province can deliver about one million housing opportunities. The province has a housing backlog of nearly 200 000.
To deliver on this undertaking, the department will focus on programmes to eradicate informal settlements, improve the ageing infrastructure in municipalities, expedite the issuing of title deeds, continue to deliver basic services in rural areas, develop a clear approach on the allocation of houses and rural development. “The department has to ensure that it contributes to the policy position of the ruling party of building one million houses and eradicate informal settlements in the coming five years, concluded MEC Gamede. The strategic planning session also looked at the department’s 2013/14 nine months performance and future planning.
Issued by the Communications Directorate, Department of Human Settlements
Contact Person: Freddy Ngobe
Tel: (013) 766 6014
Mobile: 082 859 4630