19 May 2023 Media Release: Challenges and Solutions: Minister Kubayi Engages with Local Officials and Communities
Media Release: Challenges and Solutions: Minister Kubayi Engages with Local Officials and Communities
For Immediate Release
19 May 2023
The National Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, accompanied by Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, conducted a visit to the Garden Route District municipal area in the Western Cape yesterday, 18 May 2023. The purpose of the visit was to evaluate the advancements made in providing sustainable human settlements.
The day commenced with Minister Kubayi actively engaging with local municipal officials, as well as provincial representatives, to gain insights into the challenges faced in terms of land availability, bottlenecks, and funding issues. The discussions revealed the need for enhanced communication channels between national, provincial, and local governments, which would lead to a more streamlined approach in addressing current issues.
In addition, the program for the day included significant events, such as the symbolic handover of title deeds to deserving community members from Qolweni in Plettenberg Bay and Concordia in Knysna. Community members were provided an opportunity to express their concerns and raise issues related to housing.
Minister Kubayi also shared her findings at the Khayalethu Bungalow area. She alluded to the distress she witnessed when she visited two vulnerable households whose living conditions in wooden bungalows were unfit for human habitation. She apologised to the community for what she had witnessed and the unbearable conditions in which people were forced to live, addressing both long-standing promises and emerging concerns, ensuring that all matters were duly noted. Some urgent cases were identified as requiring immediate attention and designated as emergency interventions.
During the visit and in response to some of the questions raised by the community, Minister Kubayi emphasised the priority given to the elderly and disabled individuals as beneficiaries for housing.
Drawing from her own personal experiences, she shared a poignant story of her childhood, growing up in a shack as the child of a domestic worker. Through determination and careful saving, she was able to purchase a home for her mother, underscoring the importance of providing dignified housing for all.
On the specific issue of Khayalethu 150 Bungalows being restored, she undertook to close the gap between the different spheres of government and its agency, Housing Development Agency, by establishing an intervention team as well as immediate appointment of a Geotech company to do the structural assessments.
This team which will make contact with local and Provincial / National governments and look at a streamlined approach with targeted performance milestones to bring relief under the Emergency Funding. The funding is now located in her department.
There will regular feedback sessions with the communities to enhance assurability of the programme progress.
Minister Kubayi reiterated her commitment to improving the lives of South African citizens by creating sustainable human settlements. She emphasized the need for collaboration and cooperation among all levels of government to address the challenges faced by communities. She urged members of the communities she addressed in Knysna and Bitou municipal areas to take pride in their homes, surrounds and communities at large, rather than waiting for government to be the change-maker for certain matters. Communities were urged to work together to keep their areas clean, support local entrepreneurs and local businesses, which would result in the economy to grow.
She also made specific reference to the potential of tourism in the region and that it is remains a key driver of jobs and economic growth of the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.
The last part of the Minister’s visit included an opening of a Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) satellite office in George. Learn more about CSOS here: https://csos.org.za/
According to Minister Kubayi, the CSOS office will play a crucial role in promoting harmonious and well-governed community focused access by offering dispute resolution services, regulating governance documentation, providing education and training, and facilitating transparency and access to information.
These pictures were taken during the official launch and ribbon cutting ceremony of the satellite office for Community Schemes Ombud Services (CSOS) in George.
Overall, the visit to the Garden Route District municipal area proved to be an insightful and productive engagement, with Minister Kubayi and Deputy Minister Tshwete demonstrating their dedication to achieving equitable housing solutions for the people of the region.
Official Media Release: MINISTER KUBAYI TACKLES GARDEN ROUTE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS OBSTACLES