Sunday Independent: 'Housing on steroids' boon for SA

Sunday Independent: 'Housing on steroids' boon for SA: "'Housing on steroids' boon for SA
Historic pact will see an explosion of construction to wipe out housing backlogs and slums, says minister

September 25, 2005 Edition 1 (Todays date 28 November 2006)
Christelle Terreblanche
An explosion of building activity will hit South Africa in the next few months in an effort to wipe out slums, but it is also tipped to give economic growth and job creation a hefty boost.
This was the promise of Lindiwe Sisulu, the housing minister, after she signed a historic social contract with all role players in the housing and construction industry aimed at jointly eradicating the country's 2,4 million-unit housing backlog.
In an interview Sisulu was upbeat despite a last-minute retreat by the property development sector on a deal to provide 20 percent-lower-cost housing for exclusive high-end developments - accompanied by suggestions that an even higher percentage could be negotiated.
The '20 percent social responsibility deal' - a common practice in developing countries from Malaysia to Ireland - was to be a cornerstone of the minister's revolutionary housing plan aimed at eradicating slums by 2014.
Asked whether she was ready to enact her plans to increase the housing stock by 15 percent a year - which has struck some observers as construction on steroids - Sisulu said: 'You had better believe it. Not next year, next month. I think we have a very good moment now where we've got everybody interested - and a great deal of commitment.
'If it takes three months to get it going, I don't think we will still have these people as interested. We can hit the road next week.'
Opening the two-day housing indaba in Cape Town this week, the minister said 'despite the huge public investment into housing over the last 1"

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