ABSA to provide 100,000 low cost homes by 2010 - South Africa - The Good News

ABSA to provide 100,000 low cost homes by 2010 - South Africa - The Good News: "Steve Booysen"

Monday, 02 April 2007
ABSA has committed R2.6 billion to provide 100,000 low cost homes in South Africa by 2010.
Speaking at the handing over of more than 200 government subsidised houses, ABSA Chief Executive Officer Steve Booysen said the R2.6 billion was the bank's contribution towards sustainable human settlements for the nation.
"By 2010, ABSA will be involved in 100,000 homes in collaboration and consultation with the national housing ministry, provincial governments and local governments.
"We will have at least one project for every province and two to three projects for every metro," he said.
The bank is doing this to ensure every family in South Africa has security of place where they can establish their roots and from which create a better life, said Booysen.
"We know that a South Africa where every family has a real home, savings in the bank for a rainy day and a reliable income in their old age is a South Africa where pride has meaning."
South Africa's major banks in 2005 entered into a memorandum of understanding with government that would result in R42 billion being spent on low cost housing.
ABSA has also set aside R400 million to develop the Olievenhoutbosch housing project, in the informal area south of Pretoria.
The project, to be completed by 2008 would result in 5,400 homes built, with 1,200 being bonded, 3,000 subsidised and 1,200 rental homes on 180 hectares of land.
These investments, said Booysen, were also part of the bank's investments in the infrastructure investments.
"We regard urban renewal through residential development as wise infrastructure development, because wise infrastructure investment helps to make development sustainable."
An example is Brickfields apartments complex in Newtown, Johannesburg, where ABSA has funded 35 percent of the R100 million residential project.
Brickfields, he said, was a typical example of a public private partnership that works for the benefit of individual families.
The project is to benefit 727 families providing a return on the bank's investment and at the same time improving the quality of life.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the bank and the Gauteng provincial government to deliver 7,500 units in Droogeheuwel and Midddelvlei in the Randfontein Local Municipality.
About 2,600 hectares of land have also been acquired by the bank to be used for affordable housing in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.
"This project will allow in excess of 65,000 residential homes in mixed mode developments to be developed in phases over about five years," said Booysen.
The development, he said, will make a big contribution towards eradicating shacks and other informal dwellings by 2014.
Housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the bank's dedication to the provision of housing would go a long way in providing a roof over the head of many South Africans.
Source: BuaNews

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