NOW more than ever social housing development must remain a strategic priority for the government of South Africa, particularly as the country forges ahead with revitalising the economy.
That’s according to Rory Gallocher, CEO of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA), commenting ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the National Address tomorrow (11 February 2021).
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had provided a greater impetus for forging ahead with social housing development.
“Investing in infrastructure, particularly in housing development, underpins a healthy economy. The current crisis in South Africa, and the weighing fiscal deficit, emphasises the need for all stakeholders and investors to be even more proactive in ensuring we are able to deliver on the country’s social housing development needs.”
Gallocher added that with the current economic climate, the demand for affordable housing was increasing and this provides an opportunity to increase the much-needed employment opportunities through infrastructure development.
“Social housing projects not only afford our fellow South Africans accommodation but also present opportunity for them to be the drivers of the economic activities.”
SHRA, is an entity of the Department of Human Settlements, based within the department’s Rental Housing Programme.
His comments coincided with a call by Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu for potential investors including banks to assist government’s efforts in meeting the demand for social housing units, particularly across the country’s metros.
The Minister said her call was prompted by the recent high demand for social housing units, which is estimated to be sitting at over 300 000.
Currently SHRA has 52 projects in the pipeline which are expected to yield 21 000 units. This would require debt investment funding of R3,6 billion. The social housing projects are meant for beneficiaries earning between R1500 and R15 000 per month whilst those who earn less than the minimum amount qualify for fully subsidize government housing or Breaking New Ground house (BNG).