Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the Human Settlements family ...
Ngivumele, Sihlalo, ngikhumbute bantfu bakitsi eNingizimu Afrika kutsi ngemnyaka wanga-1913, lapho hulumende welusuku ashaya khona umtsetfo, mhla ti-19 Inhlaba 1913, lapho atsatsela khona bantfu labamnyama imihlaba yabo. Incenye lenganga-87% yonkhe yemhlaba yatsatfwa yaniketwa labanye bantfu ngalokungekho emtsetfweni, bantfu bekufika labeta ngemikhumbi kulelive ngabo-1652, bantfu labamhlophe banikwa live labokhokho betfu labamnyama basala nemncwetjana welive longaba ngu-13% kuphela kutsi babelane ngawo futsi babangisane ngawo.
Sihlalo lohlon, leso sento saba buhlungu kakhulu kubantfu labamnyama ngobe behliswa sitfunti. Bantfu labamnyama babengakavunyelwa kutsi batsenge imihlaba ibintwe ngemabito abo njengebanikati. Loko kwenta kutsi bantfu labamnyama batikhandze sebabekwe etindzaweni lapho kwakumatima khona kutsi bangatfola tinsita. Loyo hulumende wangaleso sikhatsi bekanakekela kuphela bantfu labamhlophe ngobe kuye bantfu labamnyama bekungesibo bantfu. Ngalamafisha abebabona titfunti kungena emeneni, angabacaphelisisi kahle.
Hulumende loholwa nguKhongolose wenta konkhe lokusemandleni akhe kutsi bantfu batfole tinsita. Kuletinye tindzawo kusematima ngisho nalamhla nje kutsi bantfu batfole tinsita ngobe babekwe emaweni nasetintsabenti, lapho hulumende angakhoni khona kufaka emaphayiphi. Indlela langaphumelela ngayo kutsi abambisane nebahlali bakuleto tindzawo, nabo bavume kutfutfwa bayiswe etindzaweni lapho bangakhona khona kuhlaliswa kahle banikwe netinsita njengobe batidzinga nje. (Translation of Siswati paragraphs follows.)
[Allow me, Chairperson, to remind our people in South Africa that in 1913 the government of the day passed a law, on 19 June 1913, whereby black people were dispossessed of their land. About 87% of the land was taken and illegally given to other people - foreigners who came by ships into this country around 1652. White people were given our ancestors' land, and blacks were left with a mere 13% of land which they shared and fought over.
Hon Chairperson, that act was very painful to black people because they were humiliated. Blacks were not allowed to buy land and register it under their names as owners. That made black people find themselves placed in areas that made it difficult for them to access services. The government of the day was taking care only of white people, because in the eyes of that government black people were not considered as humans. In other words, it was looking down on them; it had no regard for them.
The ANC-led government does its level best to ensure that people have access to services. Even today it is still difficult for our people in some places to receive services because they were settled on mountains and cliffs, where the government is unable to install pipes for water supply and disposal of waste. Government will succeed if it co-operates with the residents of these areas and the residents must also agree to be relocated to areas where they will be properly settled and will be able to access services as they need them.] It is against this background that the Housing Development Agency, HDA, was established through the Housing Development Agency Act, Act 23 of 2008. The Act states that the agency must, in consultation with the relevant owner, identify, acquire, hold, develop and release state, privately and communally owned land for residential and community purposes for the creation of sustainable human settlements. The HDA assists all spheres of government to identify, acquire, hold and release state land for human settlements development.
Hon Chairperson, we therefore urge communities not to invade any land, either in urban or rural areas. Although there is a serious need for land in terms of human settlements, proper preparations need to be done before people are settled on any piece of land. Feasibility and environmental studies must be done, and municipalities should plan and budget for bulk infrastructure and other basic services needed for human settlements. This would assist the ANC government to deliver services to the people.
Baholi bendzabuko kufanele nabo basisite ngekusebentisana nahulumende ekutseni bangacali basikele bantfu titandi kucala bangakabonisani nahulumende nemkhandlu wendzawo mayelana nekutsi bantfu bangahlaliswa njani kuleyo ndzawo. Ngitsandza kubonga nekuncoma futsi bukhosi bakaMatsamo eNkomazi kulaseMpumalanga, ngobe bona busebenta ngekubambisana nahulumende kanye nemkhandlu waseNkomazi kutsi bavimbele bantfu bangatisikeli ngekwabo titandi. (Translation of Siswati paragraph follows.)
[Traditional leaders must also assist us by working together with government, not allocating stands to people before consulting with the government and the local council as to how people could be settled in that area. I would like to thank and commend the Matsamo Traditional Authority at Nkomazi in Mpumalanga, because it works together with government and the local council of Nkomazi to prevent people from allocating stands to themselves.]
Chairperson, our country continues to face huge challenges, one of which remains creating sustainable human settlements both in rural and urban areas. Since the advent of democracy, the ANC-led government has achieved a lot in the provision of housing, sanitation and sustainable human settlements, but more still needs to be done.
One of the challenges we continue to face is rapid urbanisation, as people migrate from rural to urban areas in pursuit of better economic conditions and employment prospects in the urban centres of our country. We cannot address this challenge by only prioritising programmes that target addressing the needs of households once they are in urban areas. We also need to look at what needs to be done to improve employment opportunities and human settlement conditions in rural areas. Our programmes should strive to achieve a better life for all.
Chairperson, the Census 2011 results stated that close to 19 million people in South Africa live in rural areas. This number constitutes 40% of the South African population. Clearly, rural areas remain a very important part of our country that we dare not ignore in terms of government interventions intended to create a better life for all. In fact, the rural areas of our country remain a sore reminder of what apartheid policies did to our people.
The ANC government has adopted rural development as one of its key priorities during this term. The question that we, as the Human Settlement sector have to answer, is what have we done to contribute to the creation of sustainable human settlements in rural areas as this term draws to an end? To what extent have we as the Human Settlements sector enabled communities in rural areas to reap the fruits of our democracy and also enjoy development dividends?
We should urge the democratic government to establish new towns and cities as part of the rural development strategy. Rural development, taken seriously and effectively implemented by government and all social partners, means the development of new towns and cities so that people will not see the need to migrate to faraway cities to access better economic prospects and better living conditions. This might also minimise the mushrooming of informal settlements in and around our cities.
Chairperson, the government's infrastructure programme, announced by the hon President in his state of the nation address in 2011, serves as an enabler to promote the development of many rural areas that were neglected in the past. In addition, the National Development Plan's chapter on an inclusive rural economy presents yet another opportunity to create new centres for development in rural areas.
In the 2010-11 financial year the National Treasury introduced a rural households infrastructure grant for a three-year period allocated to the department. This grant's aim was to implement basic water and sanitation to rural households. Over the period of three years 56 608 toilets were delivered through this grant.
In the 2010-11 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period the department delivered 357 710 units, and each house was provided with a toilet, thus contributing to the reduction of the sanitation backlog.
The rural households infrastructure grant has been extended from the initial three years to five years. The grant has, however, been converted from an indirect grant to a direct grant in 2013-14, which reflects direct transfers to municipalities. One of those municipalities that benefited from this grant is Inkomazi Municipality in my area. It is a rural municipality, and other municipalities have benefited throughout the country.
While recognising some genuine difficulties confronting provinces, such as the absence of bulk infrastructure due to inadequate capital expenditure, the situation cannot be tolerated where weak excuses are put forward that deadlock delivery to communities. This malaise is essentially the result of the combination of two factors, namely the employment of officials and people with little or no experience at all to administer huge human settlements funds at provincial and local levels; and the hiring of questionable contractors to participate in large-scale housing construction projects.
This year the ANC government is determined to see the last of this underexpenditure whilst our people remain stuck on growing housing lists.
Chairperson, it is in this context that the ANC government has to be commended for having had the foresight in 1996 when it established the Rural Housing Loan Fund. This entity enables rural households to access housing finance in order to improve their housing conditions and living environments. Working through an intermediary network of nonbank lenders, the Rural Housing Loan Fund has enabled a little over 300 000 households to access finance to improve their housing conditions. Many of these households include professionals who cannot access mortgage finance or the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy programme, Flisp, simply because they choose to improve their housing conditions on communal land.
Chairperson, we need to encourage our people to take courage and improve their housing conditions. We need to leverage the spirit of Vukuzenzele as many of our people do not wait for government to do things for them. Once enabled to access finance, many people are willing and able to drive their own development process, as the Rural Housing Loan Fund, RHLF, has proved over the past years.
The challenge for government is to provide financial support to entities such as RHLF, which enable people to improve their human settlement conditions rather than waiting for government to deliver such to them. However, we need to recognise that there are still too many people in the rural areas that cannot afford housing credit.
In conclusion, the ANC government as a caring government is expediting the implementation of rural housing projects across rural areas. In addition, the People's Housing Process must be encouraged, and other innovative housing delivery approaches such as the individual rural housing voucher programme, which was intended to enable people in rural areas to purchase building material to build their houses, must be implemented. The finance- linked ... [Interjections.] The ANC supports the Budget Vote. [Time expired.] [Applause.]