The Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements says the R138 million grant it received from the national department will boost its plans to accelerate the servicing of sites. This was said by the Acting Head of Department, Mr. Doctor Nkosi when he was responding to the recent announcement made by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu that Mpumalanga is amongst the four provinces which will receive additional funding from the national department. This additional funding was granted to enable the provinces to speed up the upgrading of informal settlements, servicing of sites, and land acquisition.
“We have set ourselves for serving of sites and upgrading of human settlements and this is in line with the MINMEC resolution and subsequent directive from the National Department that our delivery should be more biased towards servicing of sites as part of Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) and Integrated Residential Development Programme (IRDP)”, said Nkosi.
He also added that Mpumalanga has been doing very well in the last four years when it comes to delivery. He said the province has adhered to the business plan and it has been receiving additional funding. Nkosi also indicated that the initial request was R235 million which would have come in handy in land acquisition.
“Our initial business plan for additional funding was R235 million to augment the recent budget cuts and have more land acquisitions. However, now the focus will now be more servicing of sites in the Priority Human Developments Areas (PHDAs) in the province. The municipalities that stand to benefit are the City of Mbombela, Mkhondo, Nkomazi, Msukaligwa, Steve Tshwete, and eMalahleni Local Municipalities. These are municipalities with mega integrated human settlements (BNG) and upgrading of informal settlements projects,” said Nkosi.
Minister Sisulu said this funding will see an additional 1926 serviced sites over the current annual target of 3426 serviced sites. She said the department will be issuing instructions to perform letters to already appointed onsite contractors as there will be no new appointments. She said the department will try to get these contractors to deliver more on their targets.
“Gauteng, Western Cape, and Mpumalanga are seeing the fastest growing towns, we are making this allocation to support and release to support the upgrading of their informal settlements and release of serviced sites to encourage qualifying beneficiaries to build for themselves,” said Minister Sisulu.