Fund will help reduce shortfall of houses for poor and working class

A fund to speed up the delivery of serviced stands for people to build their own homes is a reality.
A fund to speed up the delivery of serviced stands for people to build their own homes is a reality.
Image: Yandisa Monakali

A fund has been launched to accelerate the delivery of serviced stands for the poor and working class to build their own homes close to schools, public transport and workplaces.

The focus is on "urban edge" land.

The SA Housing and Infrastructure Fund (Sahif) was engineered by property experts in partnership with the department of human settlements, water and sanitation.

Property specialist Kameel Keshav said the fund already owns land worth R1.7bn. The money comes from donors and shareholders.

Keshav said that the land already set aside for the fund is in five provinces: Gauteng (60%), the Western Cape (25%), Mpumalanga (12%), the Free State (2%) and Limpopo  (1%).

"The provinces that have bigger fractions have more demand, and we are only mentioning land that we have already acquired.

"We buy land from anyone and we sell to anyone. We basically buy land, service it, then sell it to private sector, public sector and even individuals. The intention is to see this project through," Keshav said.

The target of yielding 108,160 serviced stands for delivery over three years by Sahif is intended to contribute to reducing the overall shortfall of houses committed for handover to South Africans by government, said Rali Mampeule, founder of the fund.

"We buy land near the cities and towns so that we can address the whole integrated development plan in the country. We then sell it to both listed and unlisted companies in SA," Mampeule said.

He said over the past two years, the fund sold fully serviced land to the government. "We basically get basic services installed on the stand before selling it. The likes of water, electricity and other basic services."

President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his state of the nation address (Sona), hinted at plans to accelerate the provision of well-located housing and land to poor South Africans.

"While we have made great progress in providing housing, many South Africans still need land to build homes and earn livelihoods. In the next five years, we will accelerate the provision of well-located housing and land to poor South Africans," Ramaphosa said.


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