Minister Kubayi addresses the housing and infrastructure backlog

The Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Nkhensani Kubayi wants to address issues that link to housing and infrastructure backlog.

Kubayi spoke on Friday at the two-day conference hosted by Black Business Council in the Built Environment. The event was held at the Gallagher conference centre in Midrand.

Kubayi said that government is guided by a clause in the Freedom Charter that says “There shall be houses, security and comfort for all”.

Champion of decent housing

“Let me make it clear that it is the ANC and the government that it leads that has always been the champion of decent housing for all our citizens,” Kubayi said.

“I got myself into trouble early this year . That was when I was trying to clarify the fact that government alone, will not be able to meet all the housing needs of our population. I then said as government, we incentivise the private sector. This so as to invest in the development of housing stock. Especially for the missing middle.” 

Kubayi emphasised on the population increase. Stating that the demand for housing will always be on the increase as more and more people look for shelter.

“What is of great interest for us as a sector is where, geographically, people want houses and what type of houses they want. There are important trends that have become dominant in determining the location and type of housing. These are urbanisation, climate change and innovation in Alternative Building Technologies. This in addition to access to economic opportunities and social amenities.”


Kubayi further explained that urbanisation has placed 60% of South Africans in major and secondary cities. This means the demand for housing in urban centers has significantly increased.

“It therefore stands to reason that the infrastructure backlog that we find in housing is concentrated in urban centers. Both in major and secondary cities,” Kubayi added

She told the crowd that the housing market is made up of various segments that can be loosely categorised.

“The high-end market made up of those who can afford to buy houses. Secondly, the missing middle, which is those who cannot get a bond with financial institutions. However, they do not qualify for free houses as they earn between R3,500 and R30,000. Thirdly and lastly, those who cannot afford to buy or build a house for themselves.

Significant inroads

“As government, we directly intervene in various ways in the second and third market.
Indeed, our government has made significant inroads in this regard. [Let me refer] to Statistics South Africa Census 2022. It says the number of formal households grew from 5.2 million in 1996 to 15.8 million in 2022. Households living in traditional dwellings, has likewise, significantly reduced since 1996.

With over 1 million fewer households living in traditional dwellings in 2022 compared with 1996. Of the 10,6 million additional households in formal dwellings, 4.8 million were provided by the ANC government. In terms of gender, we are also proud to state that 1.9 million houses were given to women beneficiaries.”

Kubayi said the department moved away from focusing on housing to human settlement development. The focus shifted from housing being just a roof over people’s heads. To providing sustainable and integrated human settlements. This is where people can work, pray, play and have access to amenities. These are educational and health facilities.

Housing vs human settlement principle

She said that they embraced the integrated human settlement development approach. With projects that spur municipalities, provinces, developers and the human settlement agencies. These are spurred into a series of carefully structured projects. They in turn  trigger secondary investments. And these allow for mixed income developments and integrating the city.

“Social and affordable housing are programmes aimed at providing housing for the missing middle. These include rental stock and bonded houses respectively. Social
and affordable housing provision. This is how our country contributes to spatial and social
transformation. These programmes are aimed at achieving social mixing between high- and low-income earners. Thereby providing access to economic opportunities and social amenities to low-income earners.

The demand for this type of houses has been on the rise. And the supply market has not met this demand because of high cost of well-located land. The unavailability of urban land for human settlement and low investment levels in the sector.

Policy frameworks

It is for this reason that we have increased our efforts to crowd-in public and private sector investment in the sector.

The minister said that the desire to see increased private/public partnerships in the housing sector will be complemented by policy frameworks. These are underway, and will be ready for implementation in the seventh administration.

An innovative project funding mechanisms that are attractive to private sector funding will be drawn up for future projects. She said this provision will allow for provinces and municipalities with private sector partners to improve certainty. This is with regards to bulk and link availability. These have been identified as one of the key constraints to upscaling delivery. Especially for multiyear mega projects.

Sunday World spoke to partners of the Black Business Council in the Built Environment (BBCBE)


Marketing director at Hydraform Mpho Ngobeni said: “BBCBE is an advocate for transformation and innovation. We support that. We were awarded a project pre- Covid-19 pandemic. I am happy to say that we finally completed this project. We provided over 140 houses for a destitute group in Mthatha. This in partnership with the human settlements department in the Eastern Cape.

Managing director of Ramajoa Pros Mike Kani Ramojoa  shared his concerns about the terms of the lease and the handing over of a project once the lease is over.

He said: “We have identified a good piece of land in the Sedibeng area and we intent to run a 1,000 home project. We are in the process of applying for this project as the land in the Sedibeng area will be used as a sports facility to keep children off the streets. The area is rich in history and we must take care of it. We are faced with a huge failure in revenue collection in our municipality. As such, we are applying for the land but they want to give us a short-term lease. We can not build something for billions and have a lease agreement of less then 10 years. What we need is a longer term lease.”

Support for graduates

The South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) President Lufuno Ratsiku spoke to Sunday World. He said that graduates need a place where they can learn and equip themselves. And SACPCMP is available to lend a helping hand.

Ratsiku said: “We help graduates who are in the industry (construction) with the development of competence and standards. These are required in the industry. We make sure that the professionals in the small business are professionally accredited.

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