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Govt seeks to transform housing landscape

  

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Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale says government wants to empower people by giving them affordable housing bonds, as this would help to sustain and grow a developmental state.

Speaking at The New Age Business Breakfast in Fourways on Friday, Sexwale also said the state’s housing policy aimed to absorb more low-income earners in social rental properties going forward. This, the minister said, was “the future”.

The business breakfast was co-hosted by SABC presenter Peter Ndoro and broadcast live on SABC2.

“If you focus too much on welfare, you cannot sustain a developmental state,” said Sexwale.

He said the government’s current target was to build 200 000 low-cost housing units per year, and that the government aimed to have eradicated all informal settlements and to have built houses for all people by the year 2030.

“Our housing policy is such that people who earn between R0 and R3 500 get a housing grant... we cannot abandon our people. Each person would like to have a house with assistance by [the government],” he said. 

Sexwale said his department would also aim to bring human settlements that are built closer to places of work and entertainment to undo the class segregation.

He said his department would also continue to support people who earn between R3 000 and R7 000 – those who do not qualify to get a home loan through a mainstream bank – through the housing finance that the state pays to finance institutions.

President Jacob Zuma had also announced in the 2010 State of the Nation Address that some R1-billion had been set aside and would be given to banks to have them finance applicants under that income bracket.

Edited by SANews, SA government news service

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