Hon Chairperson, the 2014-15 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, budget allocated to the department must be seen to be responding to the issues raised by our people when we were campaigning.
Programme 3 of the Vote - which deals with the delivery support programme that constitutes 97%, which is R29 billion, through grants to provinces and municipalities - has to be monitored on a monthly basis, to ensure that money is spent from the beginning of the financial year to avoid spending only towards the last quarter of the financial year and ending up with underspending.
The Integrated Master Plan seeks to align our plans, which are critical in addressing the apartheid spatial plan for the provision of sustainable human settlements together with other departments as pointed out in Chapter 8 of the National Development Plan, NDP.
The strategic plan mission statement must create more opportunities for qualifying households to enter into different schemes provided by the department through its entities, be it for rentals or purchase, incrementally in both urban and rural areas.
Our greenfields projects must be only for the densification type of housing to address the backlogs that we have. Together with the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we must have a programme and engage our communities on the importance of high-rise structures to address the shortage of suitable land for housing development. There should also be programmes on the eradication of informal settlements, hence the promotion of high-rise structures is vital to address resistance to relocations. However, we should not overlook compelling reasons if the land is not suitable for housing development.
In this case communication is vital - communication, communication, communication. It should be noted that the higher you go through densification, the higher the costs incurred are, hence the need to increase the budget for housing infrastructure. We are pleading with the National Treasury to come to the party on this one.
This brings me to pilot projects that are part of the national programme, one in Cape Town, the N2 Gateway project, which the Minister committed herself to completing, as well as the Phase 1 of Joe Slovo during this financial year. The high-rise structures in this project are a practical solution to densely populated informal settlements. The Cornubia integrated megaproject in Durban, which is a public-private partnership, is responding to the National Development Plan, NDP, Chapter 8, as it is within the economic hub of the city, surrounded by the suburban areas of Mount Edgecombe, Umhlanga that will also be linked to Bus Rapid Transit System routes including Dube Trade Port and King Shaka International Airport, which are nearby.
It also planned to have light industrial factories, retail parks, business and recreational parks, as well as clinics and primary schools and a high school.
All this is expected to create 48 000 new, sustainable job opportunities over 15 years and a further 15 000 during the construction phase, over and above jobs that were created during the inception of Phase 1 of this project.
The project, in total, at the end will yield 28 000 housing development opportunities. It is a product that caters for the lower income group, including the government-subsidy category that was constructed in high-rise during the first phase of this project and handed over to beneficiaries by the President of South Africa earlier in 2014.
This is, indeed, a radical economic shift in practice and an ongoing implementation of a practical example of how business can contribute to development and the creation of jobs together with government. This is, indeed, a good story to tell for the ANC government.
The proper recording of jobs created by projects must be monitored closely to reflect the correct statistics from municipalities and provinces as it contributes to curbing unemployment and also contributes to radical changes in economic development in order to respond to the NDP's Chapter 8 in regard to integrated human settlement development.
The department will have to continue with other megaprojects that are similar to Cornubia in other provinces, utilising well-located and strategic land through the Housing Development Agency, HDA, a department entity that has obtained an unqualified audit for 2013-14, and is able to go beyond its target to secure land for provinces and municipalities for human settlement development.
This shows that the entity does have a capacity to expand from operating in six to nine provinces and to increase its target as well. Hon Minister, we would like to get a timeframe on the implementation of this.
We also urge the Department of Public Enterprises entity to donate land to municipalities, especially if land is already settled, instead of charging municipalities the market value. They should view this as their own contribution to developing and formalising settled land.
We hope that the Departments of Public Works and of Rural Development and Land Reform will provide more state land for development of integrated human settlement.
The gap-market category of our people who earn above R10 000 represents a huge demand for us to amend our policy providing grants to entities which focus on providing mortgages for home loans.
The provision of rental stock and revamping of inner-city buildings is quite urgent. The indications of this demand are clear; when projects of this nature are advertised, your Public Service employees come in large numbers, even if the targeted income category of earnings was between R7 000 and R10 000.
The improvements in the beneficiary database, which is outlined in the budget, will go a long way in addressing issues faced by municipal councillors where they sometimes are blamed and attacked. This revamping will remove such hostility towards them resulting from these challenges in the system currently being used. It will minimise the process regarding the waiting period.
The hon President, during his state of the nation address, tasked us to speedily resolve the backlogs in the issuing of title deeds. The money set aside for this programme must be utilised to improve capacity.
The relationship between the Departments of Human Settlements and of Rural Development and Land Reform is of vital importance in speeding up the approval of title deeds, and we would like to have a programme that addresses this, hon Ministers.
The pre-1998 backlogs where subdivisions were not done, require much greater intervention by both the Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, with their provincial departments, to scrap the provincial ordinance on town-planning schemes.
These interventions will assist municipalities in resolving town-planning delays - which are the result of the old way of conducting business - when they are rectifying the provision of services planning but are frustrated by a process of 24 months, at best, or 36 months, for planning approval.
Although the Department of Human Settlements has provided money for this process, it requires a replacement of the ordinance by the Planning Development Act, PDA. Where it is implemented by provinces, it does assist municipalities. KwaZulu-Natal has done this and it does assist municipalities a great deal.
Internally, they are able to attend to town-planning layout and township establishment applications and the process for approval is reduced from 24 months to 8 months, or even 6 months. We request both Ministers to come to an agreement on this. We want to believe that through our portfolio chairperson we would be able to jointly further discuss this matter as the 61% allocation of the combined Urban Settlements Development Grant, USDG, and Human Settlements Development Grant, HSDG, is allocated to metros to resolve such historical backlogs of services.
The result here is that the beneficiaries of these houses have a complete product and are able to receive title deeds after processes are formalised. In turn, they take responsibility for maintaining their homes and have a sense of pride in owning a property legally, which was not the case during the apartheid era of which the DA was part. They only changed the name!
The co-operation does not in any way relieve the Department of Human Settlements from all spheres to properly plan and attend to all issues of planning at the inception of the project to avoid this 24-to-36 months period. The Minister has committed funds to address this and we will monitor it.
The budget for the bulk supply of sewerage, water, transport routes and electricity power lines, to name the major ones, must be aligned from the planning stages in the preparations for each housing development within the human settlements to avoid backlogs in future, which sometimes are caused by insufficient funding for reticulation, for example.
When the municipality bulks ... Thank you, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
THE MINISTER OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS: House Chair, I would like to congratulate those members of the committee who came here and showed quite clearly that they had taken the time to read and understand the matters before us. I am extremely impressed. I am extremely impressed with members of the ANC and the UDM, and with members of the ... [Laughter.] [Interjections.] ... with the lady who comes from Meshoe's political party, but the rest of the vacuousness here just shows it for what it is.
I was just reminded by one of the members here that you might want to read an article that was written by Van Onselen, advising the DA that they should stop pontificating and that they are not arbiters of all that is good and right. In fact, if you haven't read it, we will do you the honour of giving you that document. [Interjections.]
I thank the chair and the committee for these deliberations, especially those who were able to add sense to what we are dealing with, because the provision of housing is a very serious matter for us. We have considered the 1,5 million, we have committed ourselves to that, and this is what we are going to do in the next five years.
Clearly, my hope of finding a partnership with the committee is all in vain. However, I have found a partnership with the ANC, the ACDP and the UDM. I hope that, together, we will be able to make sure that we change the lives of our people, who have been waiting for us to respond to their plight. [Interjections.]
Hon Mmemezi, we will be creating a special unit of standards and compliance, whose job it will be, among other things, to make sure that contractors are paid on time. This is a matter that we are very concerned about and this unit will make sure that that point is taken up. Thank you for emphasising it.
Deputy Minister, we will commemorate the untimely death of our women stalwarts, especially those who have just passed away during these past few weeks. We will be commemorating the deaths of Nosipho Ntwanambi and Nadine Gordimer in the month of August, by making sure that we build something sustainable in housing in their honour. [Applause.] As you said, may their souls rest in peace.
I welcome the reasoned input from the hon Dudley, who clearly applied her mind to the matters at hand, seeks a solution and seeks to be part of that solution. Thank you very much for your support. Thank you very much to the UDM for your very constructive input. May you take the time to coach the EFF on what counts in a Budget Vote. [Laughter.] What will the people of this country, listening to the people who made their inputs here, think of each one of them and how seriously they take the matter of housing and human settlements?
Let me tell you about the hon member from the EFF. The only house that they have any ownership of is the one that they built in KwaZulu-Natal and that is broken and, in fact, began fracturing immediately as they left. [Laughter.] Even before they had packed up their picks and shovels, the house had fallen down. So I don't know what they are talking about.
Over and above that, however, the hon member was in a meeting where the portfolio committee was being briefed. She was sitting there, writing furiously, and I was sitting there thinking, "My G*d, here is an energetic young woman", until I was informed by someone sitting behind her that she was just doodling, because it was way above her. She didn't understand, and she spent her time doodling! [Laughter.] Just wake up! This is Parliament. We are here to work. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Furthermore, here we have the hon Gaba, or whatever it is - Gqada. This is the same member of the mayoral committee, MMC, who contracted somebody, who had been accused and found guilty of corruption, to go and build houses in Manenberg. A corrupt person was appointed by the City, and she sits here and pontificates about what should be done and what should not be done. Why did you not do the right thing when you were in that position? [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Hon Gana, I am glad that you have been reading our plans. Absolutely nothing that you have been saying here is original. It is just a repetition of what we have said all the time about housing. [Laughter.] However, I am glad that you are here and you understand what we are doing. Please come and join those of us who are doing something about this.
I want to go back to the hon member Barkly, or whatever her name is. [Interjections.]