Share this article

2008-10-29: Johannesburg housing delivery remains on track

Johannesburg is making steady progress in its programmes to provide affordable housing to residents and upgrade informal settlements in and around the City.

The City aims to create sustainable settlements and good neighbourhoods that offer a wide range of quality accommodation opportunities that are adequately serviced and well-located, so said Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Amos Masondo when he tabled the City’s Mid-Term Report on Wednesday (29-10-08).

The Informal Settlements Programme aims to formalise existing informal settlements, and upgrade them through the provision of services and better structured living environment.

Key aspects of the Formalisation of Informal Settlements plan are:

    Proper layout and demarcation of stands in the area;
    Delineating each stand in the area through fencing
    Registration of residents
    Allocating of stands to deserving and registered families
    The protection of service areas (for public access and infrastructure)
    Providing street names and numbering each structure in the area
    Providing basic lifeline services in the area
    Providing a development framework for the upgrade of the area through local participation.

Mayor Masondo said these steps provide the basis of security of tenure for the residents and those with the means would easily transform their neighbourhood to a better community environment through self-driven development initiatives.

The City’s five-year strategic objective to formalise 95% of settlements located on state land and to upgrade 50% of informal settlements to a minimum level of basic services has been partially achieved in the period under review.

A total of 18 informal settlements were upgraded during the first three quarters of 2007/08 against a target of 52. This brings the total number of informal settlements upgraded during the Mayoral term to 43. A total of 182 feasibility studies on settlements have been completed.

The Housing Programme seeks to ensure the provision of affordable home-ownership and rental accommodation at scale, addressing the needs of a range of income groups, with a special focus on the needs of poorer residents.

Through its own means, and in partnership with other actors and stakeholders, the City set a target to deliver 100 000 well-located and good quality housing units over the five years of the Mayoral term.

This includes the delivery of 15 000 rental housing units, 30 000 housing units through the Community Builder Programme; 50 000 mixed income housing units and the upgrading of hostels to accommodate 5 000 residents. To date, only the Rental Programme is on target, but it is envisaged that the targets will still be achieved by the end of the term.

A total of 89 housing units were developed through the Letsema programme across Johannesburg. The City has also been working on a set of interventions to improve the quality of backyard accommodation. So far approximately 400 backyard rental units have been developed through a Gauteng Provincial Government initiative targeting the upgrading of existing backyard shacks and the development of new backyard rental units in Alexandra.

The City has also delivered 246 special needs housing units to its citizens. A register of physically challenged housing beneficiaries has been developed. In addition, units were refurbished or upgraded in old age homes, hostel units were upgraded and accommodation was secured for street children.

Progress has been made in creating emergency shelter for residents of the City. Two emergency housing developments were completed in Diepsloot during 2006/07. During 2007/08, the City delivered 1 188 emergency housing opportunities, many of these in the Inner City and Alexandra. As a contribution to the regeneration of the Inner City, the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) and Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) developed temporary and communal accommodation in five buildings during 2007/08.