Gauteng competes for building material and skills

Gauteng competes for building material and skills
The Gauteng Provincial Department of Housing is considering setting up building material warehouses as an option to address concerns about the possible shortages of building material due to high demand linked to the building of stadia for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. (What a JOKE - there are no skilled artisans!!!!)
Competition for building material is gaining momentum in the building industry and small and medium developers contracted to deliver higher volumes of low-cost housing are concerned that the country may soon run out of building stock including cement, if government fails to intervene on time. This emerged during the Gauteng Housing Stakeholder Workshop convened this week in Nasrec, Johannesburg to present the Department's performance plan for the 2007/08 financial year.
Addressing delegates, Gauteng Housing MEC Ms Nomvula Mokonyane pointed out that both the Provincial and National departments of Housing are already investigating a number of options to cushion small-and-medium size developers from the ongoing competition. “However because Gauteng faces unique challenges, we are looking at warehousing as a serious option” said MEC Mokonyane
MEC Mokonyane also told delegates that the Provincial government is also aware of the current competition between government and the private sector for technical and project management skills. She said the Department of Housing has therefore conceptualized a successful business model in which outside Professional Resource Teams are contracted to provide the relevant skills.
The Department has introduced service level agreements with contracted companies to ensure that professionals with the best skills were commissioned to undertake housing projects.
The MEC emphasized that while the provision of low-cost housing remains a priority, the department will also accelerate the provision affordable rental units. The department plans to convert hostels across all municipalities into affordable rental accommodation, as well as to continue with a pilot project to build backyard accommodation in Soweto (Orlando) and the Vaal (Sebokeng). “Our housing backlog consist of a high number of people who come from other provinces with no intention to settle permanently in the province. We therefore need to make sure, as the provincial government, that we provide them with decent rental accommodation while working in the province,” added MEC Mokonyane.About 60 000 housing units will have to be built every year for the province to have a serious dent on the housing backlog. MEC Mokonyane called on municipalities and government departments, state owned enterprises and other interest groups to start planning jointly in what she referred to as ‘central planning'. She said this (central planning) will address both the housing and infrastructure backlogs with speed. She said housing projects in Ekurhuleni were moving faster because the local Municipality has ring-fenced over R1 billion to assist the Department in accelerating housing and delivery of essential services.

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