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Today, 16 October 2017, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which will see the two spheres of government entering a process to give the City assignment functions with regard to human settlements.

This means that the City also will be directly accountable for the management of the funds, with the Western Cape Government retaining an oversight role.

This will lead to more effective planning and the establishment of a more responsive pipeline of projects.

This development is in line with the objectives of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) to enhance service delivery and become more a proactive and customer-centric administration.

The City was granted Level 1 and 2 accreditation of Human Settlements delegations and functions from the Western Cape Government during March 2011.

This enables the City to manage and administer all human settlement programmes which it has been accredited to perform – a responsibility that previously fell under the purview of the Western Cape Government Department of Human Settlements.

This is the next step in the process where the processes set out in the MOA will lead to the City receiving the final assignment function.

Prior the MOA signing today, an Implementation Protocol was signed between the City and the Western Cape Government Department of Human Settlements on 14 June 2012 which later expired and was renewed on 21 September 2015. The Implementation Protocol set out the roles and responsibilities of the City and Western Cape Government Human Settlements Department relating to the assignment process.

The signing of the MOA between the Mayor and the MEC today marks a significant step for the future management of housing delivery in the City of Cape Town.

MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela said: ‘This is a journey we started some time ago. I am hoping that finally we will be able to assign the City the accreditation to ensure the City has full powers to administer National and Provincial Housing functions and programs in terms of Section 126 of the Constitution and Section 10 of the Municipal Systems Act. This MOA is providing a roadmap and clear guidelines as to what needs to be done between now and 30 June 2018. The intention is that come 1 July, the City is given full assignment to administer all the housing functions. The commitment we must now make is to look at the gaps that exist and work together to deal with the problems so that by June next year, we are on track.

‘Clauses 5 and 6 of this agreement clearly stipulate roles and responsibilities of my department and the City of Cape Town during this process. Our teams are working towards ensuring that these time frames are met’.

Mayor De Lille said: ‘We still need to continue to do joint planning. In the City administration, we have put the urban planning, transport and human settlement departments together so that we can address apartheid spatial planning and we need the help of Province to bridge those gaps. To deal with the backlog of housing, we need to work with all three spheres of government.’

The MOA binds the parties to the process and timeframes for full assignment to the City to come into effect by 1 July 2018.

Once the various required steps within the Roadmap to Assignment are completed, the assignment to the City will be finalised when it is gazetted by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille.

While it will still take time to build houses to address the historic backlog of people on the City’s housing database, this development will go a long way to help us implement housing projects faster by shifting the focus to medium- and high-density housing projects, informal settlement upgrading, and the backyarders programme.

The housing backlog in the city, like the rest of the country, requires all spheres of government to work together and to constantly pursue innovative ways of fast-tracking delivery to enable us to stand a realistic chance of stopping the backlog from growing to unmanageable proportions.

This will require that we continue to work closely with our colleagues in the National and Provincial Government and other key role players to deliver housing opportunities.

Today, the Power of Attorney was also issued by the City to the Western Cape Human Settlements Department for the Western Cape Government to commence with the land development applications to enable development on City-owned land related to the southern corridor informal settlements along the N2 highway.

At the same time, the Western Government and the City are working on a joint business plan for these areas in order to create sustainable transit-oriented development and integrated communities.

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