The Herald Online **News**

The Herald Online **News**

THE provincial housing department is now calling on outside housing delivery stakeholders to come in and assist in a new housing delivery turnaround strategy.
Some of the key issues are the retraining of emerging contractors, the development of a policy on these contractors, demand and supply management and the registering of housing delivery associations with the department, the National Housing Building Research Council and the Construction Industry Development Board.
These measures are intended to improve housing delivery and product quality. With a total of 484 provincial housing projects, of which only 209 are completed, and 108 others blocked, the provincial housing department faces a mammoth task.
Several meetings have already been held with various stakeholders, including Nafcoc Construction, banks and municipalities, to map out a strategy aimed at improving housing delivery.
According to a report prepared by the department, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality alone has 106 projects, of which 60 are still incomplete. The total provincial housing budget for this financial year is R1,052-billion.
Nelson Mandela Bay has 10 blocked projects – stalled due to problems in implementation such as corruption, poor project management and financial mismanagement. Seventeen are moving “very slowly”, mainly at Gqebera, Matthew Goniwe, Chetty, Zanemvula, Joe Slovo and Uitenhage wards 36 to 38.
Nkosiphendule Ntsebeza, project management and quality assurance manager in the housing department, says in his report that the key sub-programmes and projects for this financial year are the development of an emerging contractor initiative, the conclusion of the slow-moving projects, the rectification of housing falling apart because of poor workmanship, and the unblocking of blocked projects.
“The development of an emerging contractors development policy will be rolled out through workshops throughout the province. The policy involves the training of emerging contractors in all aspects of housing delivery and other related issues.”
According to Ntsebeza, in Nelson Mandela Bay alone there are 14 rectification projects which involve 1 852 defective houses to be repaired at a cost of R35-million. This is for materials only. The entire province has 60 projects with about 20 000 defective houses with an estimated repair cost of R304-million.
The area with the most defective houses is the Cacadu district, with 6 637 costing about R69-million to repair. More than 8 000 should have been built by the end of this financial year in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Housing MEC Toko Xasa said the bulk of the provincial housing budget went to Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City, but despite this, there was no progress in housing delivery in these regions. She said the department had recalled about R300-million allocated to the municipality because it was not being used.
“We are only going to approve those projects which have been properly planned and with services in place,” said Xasa, lamenting the lack of capacity of municipalities to build houses.

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