White Paper for Human Settlements drawn up

human settlements
20 Dec 2023

The Draft White Paper for Human Settlements has been drawn up.

The human settlements department published the draft white paper in Government Gazette 49895 for comment in terms of the Housing Act of 1997.

Cabinet approved the draft white paper at the end of November 2023 for publication for comment.

According to the cabinet statement, the draft white paper is intended to strengthen the department’s approach of providing sustainable human settlements.

Cabinet added that the draft white paper “informs the government approach to use tailor-made subsidy instruments that target poor households and vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities”.

The proposed policy also promotes coordination between the three spheres of government for effective and efficient delivery of human settlements.

“It will enhance the realisation of the rights for South Africans to adequate housing and sustainable spaces, including supporting economic opportunities and social cohesion.”

The proposed white paper focuses on, inter alia, policy options; policy enablers; governance; and policy implementation.

The draft policy asserts that the development of sustainable human settlements is a spatial assertion premised on the integration of four key elements including physical elements (infrastructure, services and housing); land use patterns; operational and governance relations; and socio-economic patterns.

The department points out that the “realisation of this endeavour is preceded by available and conducive fiscal arrangements”.

The policy vision centres on “transformed housing and human settlements dispensation for sustainable socio-economic growth and improved livelihoods”.

In a recent address, the human settlements minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi, pointed out that the plan is to “have the finally approved policy for implementation from the new financial year”.

The minister added that cabinet approval of the draft white paper “marks a shift from the 1996 White Paper Policy that not only focuses on housing but also ensuring that as we build houses, we include social amenities with access to basic services”.

“The significance of the revised White Paper is that it introduces a wide variety of initiatives such as the revision of the legislation, the revision of the housing code, improving the roles and responsibilities of all spheres of government in the human settlements value chain, concretising an all-of-society approach in strengthening partnerships, and focused approach on building resources”, she said.

Comments are invited until 31 January 2024.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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