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Govan Mbeki Awards - speech by Acting Premier Ms Sylvia Lucas

Address By The Acting Premier Of The Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, On The Occasion Of The Provincial Govan Mbeki Awards, On 07 May 2013 At Flamingo Casino, KimberleyAir Jordan 11 For Sale

Programme Director

MEC for COGHSTA, Mr Kenny Mmoiemang

Mayor of Sol Plaatje, Councillor Agnes Ntlhangula

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee of COGHSTA, Hon G.G Oliphant

Executive Mayors and Mayors

Government officials

Stakeholders in the Housing Delivery Chain

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is indeed my pleasure to meet with all our partners in the housing field during this important gathering which intends to reward our stakeholders in the housing delivery chain. Our pleasure is derived from the fact that we understand the importance of providing quality houses to the people of South Africa and in particular the people of Northern Cape Province. These awards provide all of us as stakeholders and role players in the housing sector with an opportunity to reflect on the strides we have made in ensuring that we utilize housing delivery as a foundation for our country’s ongoing socio-economic transformation.

Indeed, we are gathered here tonight to confer awards which are named after one of our struggle icons, the late Comrade Govan Mbeki. Oom Govan Mbeki distinguished himself as a scholar, a disciplined cadre, a nation builder and as a teacher. His students remember his distinctive, interactive and encouraging style of teaching, using methods which were well ahead of his time. Govan Mbeki was and remained a firm believer in the superior morality of socialism to his last day.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here tonight to accord recognition to those who have done exceptionally well in responding to the voice of the Freedom Charter where it says:

“There shall be houses, security and comfort.” We are gathered here today to celebrate unselfish human commitment to the plight faced by the poorest of our people in the terrain of housing.

It is also clear, Ladies and Gentlemen, that we have converged at this venue this evening to motivate all stakeholders in the housing industry to harness human and other resources in accelerating housing delivery to improve the lives of millions of poor people by building sustainable livelihoods, communities and human settlements, providing a choice of quality housing, opportunities with secure tenure and access to social amenities.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 52nd National conference of ANC in Polokwane, and reaffirmed at the 53rd National Conference of the ANC in Mangaung, committed this ANC-led the government to the promotion of human settlements and the building of cohesive, sustainable and caring communities.

I wish to emphasise the fact that through a progressive human settlements programme, we will be able to reverse the skewed apartheid planning and development strategy. The objective of establishing sustainable human settlements and an improved quality of household life is one of the twelve outcomes identified by government.

Hence in both of his State of the Nation Address and his Budget Vote, President Jacob Zuma formalized this concept with the establishment of the new Human Settlements Ministry.
In doing so, the President explained that “Housing is not just about building houses. It is also about transforming our residential areas and building communities with closer access to work and social and key services such as water, electricity, recreational facilities, schools, clinics and a host of amenities.

Having that in mind, the challenge becomes the availability of land. Distinguished Guests, You will remember that this year, 2013, marks 100 years since the passing of the Native Land Act, one of the most outrageous laws passed by the apartheid government to deepen the segregation of whites from blacks and perpetuate the dispossession of legitimate inhabitants of our country from their ancestral territories.

So the call by the Ruling Party and the President of the Republic is to appeal to all stakeholders to partner with Government in the execution of its plans for the benefit of all the people of our country, especially the poor and marginalized sectors of our society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here tonight to honour you in the housing value chain, including developers, contractors, the banking sector, community based organizations, the mining sector, building material suppliers and professional associations that have committed themselves to partner with government in building sustainable human settlements.

Last year, the province received the national Govan Mbeki Awards for the “Most consistent department in delivery of houses.” This is an important accolade for the department and we anticipate more awards this year.

Programme Director, our anticipation is informed by the performance of the Department of Human Settlements this year. The department has achieved the planning and surveying of 7847 sites, the provisioning of 1554 services which include water, sanitation and internal roads and 2839 houses.

Furthermore, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1075 housing beneficiaries were trained on home ownership and title deeds. We have also created 1395 jobs opportunities, namely: 482 male, 123 female, 788 youth and 2 disabled persons were employed.

Programme Director, The National Development Plan which was adopted at the 53rd National Conference of the ANC in Mangaung aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. Critical to the transformation of Human Settlements are the following objectives as enshrined in the National Development Plan,

Strong and efficient spatial planning system, well integrated across the spheres of government.
Upgrading all informal settlements on suitable, well located land by 2030; and
Having more people living closer to their places of work.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these noble objectives of the National Development Plan are in line with the Freedom Charter, particularly the clause that states that "all people should have the right to live where they choose, to be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security."

I therefore conclude by saying that the creation of sustainable and cohesive human settlements are a must. We believe that housing issues should be tackled through the provisioning of housing within sustainable, integrated settlements which is a critical pillar of the country's growth and development strategy.

I thank you!

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