Herman Mashaba, budget, funding, Riverside View housing project, Diepsloot, houses, squabble,
A squabble between the City of Johannesburg and Gauteng department regarding funding for houses has been resolved.
On 10 January Mayor for the City Herman Mashaba as well as MMC for Housing Meshack van Wyk conducted a site visit and walkabout at the Riverside View housing development in Riversands near Diepsloot, which is one of the projects which had been affected by the budget changes, in order to bring light to the issue – see Funding squabble stalls RDP development, [Week ending 18 January 2018].
At that time, Mashaba also approached the National Treasury to ask them to intervene in the dispute. Riverside View was only one of the projects in the city impacted by the decision.
The dispute arose in 2018 when the Provincial Department of Housing unexpectedly cut R180 million from the Human Settlements Development Grant (HSDG), which the City of Johannesburg uses to develop housing, saying that the city had not paid developers, had not completed projects and had not spent all the previous budget allocated to them.
However, after a meeting was held on 24 January between Mashaba, the Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa of the Gauteng Department of Human Settlement, an agreement was reached to resolve the matter.
“The City’s sole interest has always concerned itself with delivering housing to our poor residents, which is why we have sought to do all that is within our power to engage the different spheres of government in good faith and deliver much-needed housing to our residents,” Mashaba said in a statement released to the press after the meeting.
“The Provincial Department of Human Settlements [has] agreed to a consultative process to finally resolve the matter.”
As part of the agreement, the City will receive an overall amount of R300 million from the province for use for housing development in the current financial year.
The Riverside View development, a reconstruction and development programme (RDP) project expected to house 1 485 families, will also be funded as the province has R63 million.
“I would thank MEC Moiloa for today’s productive engagement and for seeing reason following our representations on the matter. In so doing, the MEC has worked with the City in ensuring that we maximise the delivery of housing for the poorest and most vulnerable of our residents,” added Mashaba.
“I am heartened by the fact that this matter could finally be resolved and that we could work cooperatively in ensuring that we provide the dignity of the housing to residents.”
At this stage, it is unclear when construction on the Riversands project, which was originally planned to begin the week starting 14 January, will resume.