By Walter Fieuw (on behalf of uTshani Fund)
The annual Govan Mbeki awards recognises excellence in the development of human settlements. Speaking at the Provincial Govan Mbeki Awards held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre on May 2nd, North West MEC for Human Settlements, Public Safety and Liaison, Nono Maloyi recognised the value of partnerships between government, civil society and the private sector. In her address, Maloyi said
Human Settlement is not just about building houses, it is about transforming our cities and towns and building cohesive, sustainable and caring communities with closer access to work and social amenities, including sports and recreation facilities.
uTshani Fund, as the Account Administrator of FEDUP, signed a contract with the North West Provincial Government allotting 200 greenfields sites. These sites are located in various settlements across Mafikeng Municipality: 77 in Mogogoe, 45 in Lethakane, 44 in Dithakong, 17 in Madibe Makgabane and 17 in five other villages. The FEDUP approach to People’s Housing Process developments is centred on community construction, and the administration and project management is also managed by the Community Construction Management Teams (CCMT). The CCMT teams consist of project manager, procurement officer, bookkeeper, administrator and community liaison officer.
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FEDUP’s work has had a significant impact on the Province’s ePHP housing policy. In the application, uTshani Fund argues
Changes in this regard are noticeable in that the Province’s Housing Department is now pushing for policy change to institute minimum RDP/BNG units to be between 40m2 and 45m2 (compared to 36m2) with some project requiring finishes such as plastering, electrification, painting and installing baths, hand wash basins, sinks and toilets.
FEDUP was the runner up to the North West award for best enhanced People’s Housing Process. The model that the Federation of the Urban Poor promotes builds on the assumption that providing housing pre-finance to qualifying beneficiaries who adhere to a collective savings scheme increases both yield and quality of the state subsidized housing stock. In particular, providing bridging loans to established savers allows families to be housed quickly on one hand, and promote responsibility, self sufficiency, and independence on the other. Moreover, since the beneficiaries, who source the materials, design their houses and contract local labor to erect them, handle construction itself building costs are significantly reduced. This allows the construction of larger and better quality houses than those provided by government appointed developers whilst generating training opportunities and temporary jobs for local communities.