Housing backlog increases despite new homes : Mail & Guardian Online

Housing backlog increases despite new homes : Mail & Guardian Online: "South Africa's housing backlog has widened due to growing urbanisation and demand despite the building of 1,9-million new homes for the poor since the end of apartheid in 1994, the government said.

Of the total figure, 1,6-million houses worth about R37-billion have already been transferred to poor households, according to a review released late on Tuesday by the national treasury.

'Despite these delivery rates, the housing backlog has grown,' it said, adding that the number of dwellings classified as 'inadequate' -- mostly shacks -- had grown 20% from 1,5-million in 1996 to 1,8-million in 2001.

'This is because of the increased demand and the pace of urbanisation, with urban populations growing at 2,7% per year,' it said.

The report also expressed concern about the quality of state-subsidised houses, saying there was 'emerging evidence that some of the houses did not comply with the required standards'.

The South African government aims to eradicate shack dwellings by 2014. State spending on housing has grown from R4-billion in 2002/2003 to R5,1-billion last year.

It is projected to reach R8,7-billion rand by 2008/09. -- Sapa-AFP"

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