2) for prepaid client: think of someone that moves to a new city rents an apartment month to month and needs electricity. He gladly buys a $100 prepaid coupon. and will try to stretch that amount to last for his intended stay. If needed, or for longer stays, he repeats procedure.
A smart meter is an electronic device that records information such as consumption of electric energy, voltage levels, current, and power factor. Smart meters communicate the information to the consumer for greater clarity of consumption behavior, and electricity suppliers for system monitoring and customer billing. Smart meters typically record energy near real-time, and report regularly, short intervals throughout the day. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communication between the meter and the supplier. Communications from the meter to the network may be wireless, or via fixed wired connections such as power line carrier (PLC). Wireless communication options in common use include cellular communications, Wi-Fi (readily available), wireless ad hoc networks over Wi-Fi, wireless mesh networks, low power long-range wireless (LoRa), Wize (high radio penetration rate, open, using the frequency 169 MHz) Zigbee (low power, low data rate wireless), and Wi-SUN (Smart Utility Networks).
Since the inception of electricity deregulation and market-driven pricing throughout the world, utilities have been looking for a means to match consumption with generation. Non-smart electrical and gas meters only measure total consumption, providing no information of when the energy was consumed. Smart meters provide a way of measuring electricity consumption in near real-time. This allows utility companies to charge different prices for consumption according to the time of day and the season. It also facilitates more accurate cash-flow models for utilities. Since smart meters can be read remotely, labor costs are reduced for utilities.
Though the task of meeting national electricity demand with accurate supply is becoming ever more challenging as intermittent renewable generation sources make up a greater proportion of the energy mix, the real-time data provided by smart meters allow grid operators to integrate renewable energy onto the grid in order to balance the networks. As a result, smart meters are considered an essential technology to the decarbonisation of the energy system.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) refers to systems that measure, collect, and analyze energy usage, and communicate with metering devices such as electricity meters, gas meters, heat meters, and water meters, either on request or on a schedule. These systems include hardware, software, communications, consumer energy displays and controllers, customer associated systems, meter data management software, and supplier business systems.
Smart meters expose the power grid to cyberattacks that could lead to power outages, both by cutting off people's electricity and by overloading the grid. However many cyber security experts state that smart meters of UK and Germany have a relatively high cybersecurity and that any such attack there would thus require extraordinarily high efforts or financial resources. The EU Cyber security Act took effect in June 2019, which includes Directive on Security Network and Information Systems establishing notification and security requirements for operators of essential services.
According to a report published by Brian Krebs, in 2009 a Puerto Rico electricity supplier asked the FBI to investigate large-scale thefts of electricity related to its smart meters. The FBI found that former employees of the power company and the company that made the meters were being paid by consumers to reprogram the devices to show incorrect results, as well as teaching people how to do it themselves.
One technical reason for privacy concerns is that these meters send detailed information about how much electricity is being used each time. More frequent reports provide more detailed information. Infrequent reports may be of little benefit for the provider, as it doesn't allow as good demand management in the response of changing needs for electricity. On the other hand, widespread reports would allow the utility company to infer behavioral patterns for the occupants of a house, such as when the members of the household are probably asleep or absent. Furthermore, the fine-grained information collected by smart meters raises growing concerns of privacy invasion due to personal behavior exposure (private activity, daily routine, etc.). Current trends are to increase the frequency of reports. A solution that benefits both provider and user privacy would be to adapt the interval dynamically. Another solution involves energy storage installed at the household used to reshape the energy consumption profile. In British Columbia the electric utility is government-owned and as such must comply with privacy laws that prevent the sale of data collected by smart meters; many parts of the world are serviced by private companies that are able to sell their data. In Australia debt collectors can make use of the data to know when people are at home. Used as evidence in a court case in Austin, Texas, police agencies secretly collected smart meter power usage data from thousands of residences to determine which used more power than "typical" to identify marijuana growing operations.
There are questions about whether electricity is or should be primarily a "when you need it" service where the inconvenience/cost-benefit ratio of time-shifting of loads is poor. In the Chicago area, Commonwealth Edison ran a test installing smart meters on 8,000 randomly selected households together with variable rates and rebates to encourage cutting back during peak usage. In Crain's Chicago Business article "Smart grid test underwhelms. In the pilot, few power down to save money.", it was reported that fewer than 9% exhibited any amount of peak usage reduction and that the overall amount of reduction was "statistically insignificant". This was from a report by the Electric Power Research Institute, a utility industry think tank who conducted the study and prepared the report. Susan Satter, senior assistant Illinois attorney general for public utilities said "It's devastating to their plan......The report shows zero statistically different result compared to business as usual." 
The Australian Victorian Auditor-General found in 2015 that 'Victoria's electricity consumers will have paid an estimated $2.239 billion for metering services, including the rollout and connection of smart meters. In contrast, while a few benefits have accrued to consumers, benefits realisation is behind schedule and most benefits are yet to be realised'
In 2013, Take Back Your Power, an independent Canadian documentary directed by Josh del Sol was released describing "dirty electricity" and the aforementioned issues with smart meters. The film explores the various contexts of the health, legal, and economic concerns. It features narration from the mayor of Peterborough, Ontario, Daryl Bennett, as well as American researcher De-Kun Li, journalist Blake Levitt, and Dr. Sam Milham. It won a Leo Award for best feature-length documentary and the Annual Humanitarian Award from Indie Fest the following year.
In March 2018 the National Audit Office (NAO), which watches over public spending, opened an investigation into the smart meter program, which had cost £11bn by then, paid for by electricity users through higher bills. The National Audit Office published the findings of its investigation in a report titled "Rolling out smart meters" published in November 2018. The report, amongst other findings, indicated that the number of smart meters installed in the UK would fall materially short of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) original ambitions of all UK consumers having a smart meter installed by 2020. In September 2019, smart meter rollout in the UK was delayed for four years.
Criminals were also quick to hack top-up cards for prepaid electricity meters when they were introduced in the noughties, in some cases going door to door to sell cheaper, illegal energy credit to customers.
"Smart meters are critical components of the smart grid, sometimes called the Internet of Things, with more than 588 million units projected to be installed worldwide by 2022," added Pattabiraman. "In a single household you can have multiple smart devices connected to electricity through a smart meter. If someone took over that meter, they could deactivate your alarm system, see how much energy you're using, or can rack up your bill. In 2009, to cite one real-life example, a massive hack of smart meters in Puerto Rico led to widespread power thefts and numerous fraudulent bills."
The researchers say vendors can use the findings to test their designs before they are manufactured, so they can build in security from the get-go. This can make smart meters much harder to crack. By using both approaches -- design-level and code-level -- vendors can guard against software tampering on two different levels.
HOUSING PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE 22 May 2002 ADOPTION OF STUDY TOUR REPORTS Chair: Ms Z Kota (ANC) Documents Handed Out: Committee Report - Appendix 1 SUMMARY PMG did not minute this meeting. The report attached hereto includes the study tour report to Kwazulu - Natal that was adopted on 5 June 2002. Both were published in the ATC dated 25 June 2002. Appendix 1 Report of the Portfolio Committee on Housing on Study Tour to KwaZulu-Natal and North West, dated 12 June 2002: The Portfolio Committee on Housing, having undertaken a study tour to KwaZulu-Natal from 1 to 4 April 2002 and to North West on from 7 to 11 April 2002, reports as follows: I. Introduction A multi-party delegation of the Committee undertook a study tour to KwaZulu-Natal from 1 to 4 April 2002 and North West from 7 to 11 April 2002. The delegation to KwaZulu-Natal was under the leadership of Ms Z Kota (Chairperson), and consisted of eight members and one official, namely Ms M N Buthelezi (ANC), Ms M P Coetzee-Kasper (ANC), Mr G D Schneemann (ANC), Ms M S Maine (ANC), Ms S H Ntombela (ANC), Ms J A Semple (DP), Mr B W Dhlamini (IFP), Mr D G Mkono (UDM) and Ms A Jojozi (Committee Secretary). The delegation to North West was also under the leadership of Ms Kota. It consisted of nine members and one official, namely Mr D C Mabena (ANC), Ms M S Maine (ANC), Mr J H Nash (ANC), Ms S H Ntombela (ANC), Mr G D Schneemann (ANC), Mr W M Skhosana (ANC), Ms J A Semple (DP), Mr B M Douglas (IFP), Mr D G Mkono (UDM) and Ms A Jojozi (Committee Secretary). II. Objectives of tour The Committee went on tour with the following objectives: * To fulfil its monitoring and oversight function, the Committee intended to establish progress made with the "Housing the Nation" programmes. * To have exchanges of views and experiences with both provincial portfolio committees on housing, mayors of different areas, local ward councils, contractors and developers. * To visit various housing projects such as the People's Housing Process, rural housing projects, hostel redevelopment projects, projects developed by women and other inner city Developments. * To establish whether units constructed are in line with norms and standards stipulated in the housing policy. The aim of the government is for all South Africans to have permanent residential structures with secure tenure, where there will be privacy, water and adequate sanitary facilities, including waste disposal and domestic electricity supply. For the housing challenge to be met, the aim of the government is to establish a sustainable housing process through a national housing strategy which will eventually enable all South Africans to secure housing in a safe and healthy environment and within viable communities in a manner which contributes to an integrated society. III. Observations The Committee would like to commend MEC D Makhaye and MEC D Africa, as well as departmental officials, for the support given to the Committee during the tour and for the good work they have done in ensuring that the lives of the poor are improved. Homeless people have been provided with shelter and this was evident in the interaction that the delegation had with the different communities. IV. KwaZulu-Natal A. Visit 1. Introduction The delegation visited 10 housing projects in different municipal areas. On the second day of the site visit, the delegation met with the MEC, Mr D Makhaye. He provided a brief outline of the future plans of the Department in ensuring that the poorest of the poor are sheltered. The tour included meetings with mayors of the different municipalities. Projects visited included visits to low-income housing projects, hostel projects, middle-income housing projects and the People's Housing Process. Officials of the Department accompanied the delegation. 2. Meeting with MEC D Makhaye In the meeting the MEC raised the following: From 1994 to date, about 224 169 housing opportunities have been created. In the same period, a total of 90 281 houses have been built. A total of 155 670 service sites have been completed. Under the guidance of Minister Makhaye, the rate of housing delivery in the province has increased by 80% for the financial year 2000-01, compared to previous years. 3. Size of housing units National norms and standards stipulate that no house smaller than 30 m2 will be built. This is vigorously enforced in KwaZulu-Natal, with the result that proposals for housing projects where houses less than 30m2 will be built, are not even considered. The Minister is adamant that he is not going to approve project proposals where norms and standards are not followed. 4. Rural housing programme The Department reaffirms its commitment to ensure that the lives of people in the rural areas are improved. The Department will work with Amakhosi and municipalities to fast-track the rural housing programme. With regard to this programme, the Department has approved rural housing projects valued at R210 million between December 2000 and July 2001. The Department subscribes strongly to the notion that rural housing projects should be in line with the Integrated Rural Development Strategy (IRDS). This will ensure that service delivery impact is maximised and that a co-ordinated approach to rural development is enhanced. Another R37 million for rural housing projects was set aside for 2001-02. 5. Slum clearance The programme to rid the province of slums was borne out of an observation that, although normal housing projects benefitted mainly former slum dwellers, there was need to have a specific programme for slums in order to fast-track the betterment of the lives of the people. Slum clearance has grown to be one of the most successful of the Department's programmes. This is evidenced by the fact that towards the end of 2002 the Department launched the biggest slum clearance project in partnership with the Ethekwini Unicity Council. This R200 million project, which is already under way, is expected to provide housing to 10 850 families who have been living in slums in and around the greater Durban area. All urban housing projects that the Department has launched, should be regarded as "slum clearance projects" because most beneficiaries are from slums. 6. Rehabilitation of houses damaged during political violence Promoting sustainable peace is a priority of the Department. It recognises the damage and pain caused by political violence in the souls and homes of ordinary South Africans. To try and reduce the pain suffered by the people, business plans were prepared and the Department received an amount of R25 million allocated from the Provincial Peace Fund. During 2000-01, houses damaged during political violence in different areas (Mpumalanga, Ezakheni, Wembezi, Kwa Mashu, Imbali) were identified for rehabilitation. As a result of the success of these projects, a "crisis of achievement" scenario has been created, as more and more communities are approaching the Department for help to rehabilitate houses damaged in their areas. However, the money allocated for that is exhausted at present. 7. Housing projects for flood victims The Department has been getting projects under way, aimed at housing families affected by the floods of late 1999 and early 2000. A total of R24 million was allocated to the Department for the reconstruction of flood-damaged houses. A R7,2 million project has been completed in Mkhuze, and similar projects are under way in Mahlabathini, Mpumalanga, Mpophomeni and Impendle, totalling R21 million. In Macambini, Chatsworth and Ezimokodweni a total of R1,2 million has been paid out in cheques to communities, depending on the extent of the damage. 8. Fighting fraud and corruption The fight against fraud and corruption has been intensified and is yielding results. Forensic investigations are conducted by independent firms to look into allegations of fraud and corruption. For example, a developer who had carried out shoddy work, was asked to rectify it at his own cost. Developers who have received double payments, are already paying back the Department, while some cases of fraud have been referred to the SAPS. Action is also taken against corrupt officials within the Department. Fraud has been discovered within the Department and some officials involved have been arrested. The investigation is still continuing. The aim is to eliminate corruption within the Department and to crack the whip on those officials not performing up to standard. 9. HIV/AIDS The incidence of HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal is too high, and there is still no cure for it. The Department believes itself to be the only housing Department to have established a housing policy for HIV/AIDS victims and to approve houses for HIV/AIDS patients. The AIDS project involves the Department providing funds to institutions who wish to provide cluster homes for persons affected by HIV/AIDS, in particular children who are orphans as a result of the syndrome, for as long as the institution in its discretion deems it necessary, and for those abandoned by families because of their HIV status. Subsidies are also provided for families that care for AIDS-infected children. 10. Human settlement redevelopment pilot programme It is the policy of the Department to improve the socio-economic conditions of people living in dilapidated houses and informal settlements. All spheres of government agree that there is need to build on the experience gained from the programme of special presidential projects on urban renewal. In the overall quest for more efficient and productive urban and rural areas, and to move away from apartheid patterns of the past, the Department supports the projects under the human settlement redevelopment pilot programme. To implement this initiative the Department has embarked on a programme to improve the quality of the living environment by addressing the legacy of the dysfunctional. 11. Empowering emerging contractors Economic empowerment of the previously disadvantaged group is one of the Department's key focus areas. The Department utilises and will continue utilising emerging contractors, including women contractors and developers. 12. Hostel redevelopment programme The objective of the programme is to promote humane living conditions and improve the quality of life of hostel residents. The Department is striving towards converting single accommodation to family units. Affected residents as well as informal residents are relocated to new housing projects via the project-linked subsidy scheme. Negotiations were entered into with a number of local authorities to manage the upgrading programme. A total of R60 million was allocated for upgrading and redeveloping hostels. 13. Problems experienced by Department (a) When the government took over in 1994, there were no specifications in respect of contracts. Some structures built by developers were as small as 18 to 20m2. This was discussed with the developers, but the Department could not take them to court, as the contracts signed by developers had no specifications. From 1999, though, the quality of houses has dramatically changed. (b) Some municipalities do not have the capacity and experience financial constraints. Once they are capacitated, they will be able to operate efficiently and effectively. 14. Conclusion The Department is replacing the "Developer-Driven Paradigm" with a new "Community-Driven Housing Process". B. Meeting with Ethekwini Municipality The Executive Mayor of Durban, Mr O Mlaba, briefed the delegation, as follows: In the past, houses were built for the people, and now the municipality is focusing on building human settlements. Most of the houses that the delegation saw, were houses that were built based on the old policies formulated by the previous government. They were approved by the old administration under old policies. The KwaZulu-Natal administration is still operating under the old administrative systems, hence the problems experienced. According to new housing policies, all projects should have tarred roads, water-borne sewage and units built should not be less than 30m2. The municipality is now trying to investigate whether housing policies in place are working well for the people. Over 30% of the costs of developing projects are contributed by the city council. C. Meeting with Newcastle Municipality - Madadeni K Housing Project The meeting took place at the municipality offices, where the delegation met local councillors, members of the provincial housing committee and developers. The delegation was welcomed by the Council, but due to time limits had to rush to the first project in Madadeni K. 1. Background to Project R25 million was handed over to the Newcastle Local Council by the MEC for Housing, Mr Dumisane Makhaye, for use in the slum clearance project. The funds were to be utilised to build homes for families living in squatter camps around Newcastle. The MEC donated a further R936 000 to 624 families whose homes were devastated by the storms which hit Newcastle in February 2000. 2. Project profile The Department approved R3,2 million to build 258 double housing units to house different families. The units built are 70m2, split into two and separated by a wall, with each family getting 35m2, with full waterborne sewerage and piped water. The houses have one bedroom, a lounge, a kitchen and a bathroom with a toilet and shower. There is only one water tap in the house. Where possible, the Department has ensured that it is beneficiaries from the same family who share the 70m2 dwelling, in order to avoid squabbles. The project employed about 140 local people, who later received building skills certificates from Fideco Homes. These certificates were to be accredited by the Department of Labour. The developer recommended to undertake the development is Mrs Claudette Keene of Fideco Homes, who has been involved in the building industry for nine years. Fideco Homes has achieved a Merit Housing Developer Award for 2000. Mrs Keene has established a good working relationship with the Department. The Department has made an effort to keep the greenery (trees and grass). Some relatives (extended family) who share the same 70m2 have decided to extend them and occupy them as one family. 3. Problems experienced (a) The fact that there are two families living under the same roof is creating conflict between the neighbours, because one complains about the noise the other one is making. (b) Two families occupying the same 70m2 have been fighting because the one wants to take over the other one's space. (For example, a brother wanting to take over the house of his sister.) (c) Most of the houses have cracks because of poor workmanship. For example, door handles are loose, floors and walls are damaged and roofs are leaking, but the developer has promised to rectify these (K126 & K955). (d) The structural design of the toilet wall is a problem. The wall does not go up to the roof, and this creates problems when someone is using the toilet while others are enjoying their meal. This forms a health hazard. (e) The community made it clear that they are not happy with the houses and that they prefer stand-alone houses. (f) The occupant of K92A complained about her toilet system, that was not installed properly. The toilet is blocked, and this results in sewage overflowing. She complained that Fideco Homes is aware of the problem but has not assisted in reparing the toilet. Mrs Keene of Fideco Homes promised that she would ensure that the toilet would be fixed. (g) More houses still need to be built in the area, as there are many people without shelter. (h) The project is not a women empowerment project. The developer was told that women are to be included, not only as workers but also as shareholders. 4. Recommendations (a) The Committee recommends that in future only separate houses be built, regardless of whether the occupants are family. (b) The developer should address complaints laid by the beneficiaries relating to poor workmanship. D. Meeting with Mooi River Municipality The Mayor could not attend the meeting, as he was not well. The town secretary gave a brief background of the three projects the municipality and highlighted the problems experienced in Bruntville, as follows: The Bruntville problem started in 1999 and, according to the Department, it is a policy issue that needs to be rectified. The provincial housing committee visited the project previously and will be addressing the matter with the relevant authorities. The Department has also promised to address the problem together with the council and to ensure that the houses in Bruntville are occupied. There are beneficiaries on the waiting list who can be located in these houses. The problem is that there is no procedure or policy that can be used to allocate the houses to new beneficiaries, as other people already own the houses. E. Bruntville Housing Project 1. Project profile The size of the houses is 30m2. The houses were built in 1995 when the minimum requirement was 28m2. The value of the projects is about R7 741 800. 2. Problems experienced (a) Some of the houses have been built on a flood plain, which resulted in some houses being flooded when it rained. (b) Certain houses have been built on top of springs, which resulted in them being continually damp. (c) Water sewage pipes are clearly visible above the ground, making them vulnerable to vandalism and water wastage. (d) Sewer waste is flowing into some yards that are lower than those of their neighbours. (e) Unoccupied houses were vandalised (e.g. window and doorframes were removed. Beneficiaries have deserted their houses and have left Mooi River because the factories that they used to work in have closed down. To be able to address this problem, the municipality will have to take responsibility of the houses. The Department will hand over the houses to the municipality. However, the municipality cannot allocate these houses to new beneficiaries. They have to inform the owners first, which they do by advertising in the newspapers. Should they not respond, the houses are then allocated to those on the waiting list. (f) Certain houses have deep cracks in walls, bacause of structural defects. (g) Most of the people in the area are unemployed and there is high crime rate. 3. Recommendations (a) The Committee is interested in finding out exactly what the Department intends doing to ensure that there is economic activity in Mooi River. It recommends that the Department interact with and request the Department of Trade and Industry to assist in identifying possible ways of ensuring that economic activity is restored in Mooi River. (b) The developer should repair the cracks in the walls. (c) The MEC should try and ensure that: * Mooi River municipality speed up the process of identifying beneficiaries who will occupy the vacant houses. Advertisements should be on the radio as well * Flowing sewer waste be rectified so that it does not result in residents picking up from diseases * The Bruntville town Planner, engineer and developer submit an explanation as to why the sewerage system was not properly installed and why there was bad workmanship in the units. F. Meeting with Mngeni Municipality The delegation was briefed by the technical director on problems experienced by the municipality. He briefed the delegation on the home development project, which has three phases. The phases differ in terms of quality; the project was developed by Howick TLC. With reference to phase 3 of the project, beneficiaries are on the waiting list, as houses are still not complete. The houses are small and of low quality, with very small yards, bad foundations, and inferior roofing and window panes. There are no proper tarred roads in the area. The units that are occupied, have been improved and renovated mostly bt the beneficiaries. There are no Peoples Housing Process, but emerging contractors are awarded tenders where they qualify. Houses being built at present are 38m2. Women in Howick have not been involved in building projects, as they still need training in building skills. The whole province has been under a moratorium as regards individual subsidies; the Department is helping those who submit individual subsidy applications. G. Meeting with Msunduzi Municipality 1. Briefing by Mayor of Msunduzi (a) Rental stock The Council owns substantial rental stock and these generate some income to sustain the organisation and at the same time offer housing to the homeless and needy. The previous Council created a s21 company and some of the present Council members are board members of this company. No projects were implemented by the previous Council, as they had encountered many problems. Problems experienced included resistance from non-ANC and IFP housing board members. The Council is grappling with issues of providing good service to the people. The problem is beneficiaries who are not satisfied with the size of the houses they are offered. (b) Slum clearance Houses have been built in order to do away with informal settlements in the area. The Council is hoping to relocate people to the new houses by the end of June 2002. 2 000 houses have been built and two of the projects are in Greenfields. The Council welcomes the increase in subsidy as it will benefit the people by affording them better houses when combined with their contribution. 2. Recommendation The Committee is concerned about councillors who are board members, as this may affect their objectivity. H. Meeting with Matatiel Municipality The Mayor gave a brief background of the Harry Gwala Park Project. He highlighted the following points: The size of the houses built in Harry Gwala range from 30 to 35m2 but there are also houses that are 17m2. Some people who qualify for 30m2, have been allocated 17m2. This creates a problem, as the Council does not understand how it could have happened. There is another project in Matatiel, the Njongoville Project, where small houses have been built for the people. Some of the beneficiaries were not happy with the size of the houses and developers offered to give them loans to the amount of R10 000. These loans were to assist them to extend their houses. Some of the beneficiaries could not pay back the loan and developers sold their houses to those who could afford it. The MEC is aware of the problem and is trying to resolve it legally. A library and a shopping centre were also built, both by women. Harry Gwala Park - Matatiel Area C - Rural Project 1. Project profile The project has about 1 124 sites and is a rural project which is developer-driven. The project was approved in March 1999 and was started on 1 April 2002. The expected date for completion is 30 July 2002. One of the reasons for the delay is the fact that beneficiary approval was delayed due to a change in beneficiaries. Provision for schools, clinics, a créche and a community hall has been made. The houses are 30m2 and 35m2 and will be electrified with waterborne sewage. The Council has approved R1,6 million for building a taxi rank. A community hall will be built soon. A R780 000 contract has been awarded for a walkway bridge. Trees have also been planted. 2. Problems experienced The community issued the delegation with a summary of grievances and the Mayor assured the delegation that issues raised have been addressed. The community is complaining of the following: (a) Some people who previously qualified for vacant plots cannot afford to build houses as some have been retrenched and do not have a source of income. (b) Some people have been allocated more than one house while others sell theirs or lease them. (c) They are not happy that Stedeone Construction was awarded the tender. They believe that it does not deserve the contract, as they came third in the tendering process. (d) They are questioning the criteria used when houses are allocated. (e) Some people use their houses for business purposes. (f) The developer approached beneficiaries who wanted to extend their houses and offered them a loan of R10 000. Some beneficiaries could not afford to pay back the loan and the developer repossessed their houses. (g) Funds allocated for the walkway bridge were never utilised as the bridge has not yet been built. 3. Recommendations (a) The Department should ensure that people who previously qualified for vacant plots are placed on the waiting list for the subsidy. (b) The matter of developers repossessing houses should be dealt with legally and the Minister should be made aware of it. I. Meeting with Greater Kokstad Municipality The municipal manager highlighted the following points: The Bhongweni project has not been successful as the developer went bankrupt. This has left the project incomplete. 6 000 units with 33m2 units have been built in the last two-and-a-half years, and a tender to complete an additional 100 units has been put out. The cost of installing electricity was about R10 million, but installation has not been completed. About 400 houses are unoccupied and the Department is struggling to locate beneficiaries. No complaints have been received on the standards and quality of the houses. Within the Kokstad Municipality there are six rural projects, and the municipality is succeeding in delivering houses. Local people are utilised to build houses; they were also utilised to build houses in the People's Housing Process. Kokstad has, however, stopped implementing the People's Housing Process. Another project was approved for the People's Housing Process, but the community opted for a developer-driven project. The Housing Board and the Department of Housing were very useful and co-operative in ensuring that the tender processes were approved quickly in Kokstad. J. Bhongweni Project profile 6 000 units have been built in the past two-and-a-half years. The developer went bankrupt and the project is not complete. In phase I, 400 houses are unoccupied, as beneficiaries have vanished and the Department is struggling to locate them. 200 of those beneficiaries have been located. The houses that were initially built, were 25m2, and now 30m2 houses are being built. The size of the houses to be built in phase 2 of the project will be 40m2. K. Meeting with Ugu Municipal Housing Within Ugu Municipality, two projects that will be community-driven have been approved. 733 houses will be built in the first project and 2 000 units in the second project. R18 million was approved for the two projects. There are delays in commencing with the projects and the Council is grappling with initiating the People's Housing Process. Initially there was no director of housing in the municipality, but one has been appointed recently. Developers are facing huge challenges, including shortage of land to build houses. L. Gamalakhe Tin Town - People's Housing Process - Port Shepstone 1. Background to project The community of Tin Town initiated the construction of houses as there was a great shortage in the area. They realised that given a chance to build or organise the extensions to their homes themselves, they could achieve a greater level of value for money. The Gamalakhe Tin Town project was approved in March 1998 and was completed in December 2000. The project was managed by a partnership between the housing development committee formed by the community, known as the Gamalakhe Development Trust, the provincial government and the local authority. The community identified its housing problem and initiated a programme to provide its own housing. The houses they were living in before, were tin houses (shacks). The project was funded by the Department. 2. Project profile People of the community constructed the houses utilising their own skills. They also provided personnel to manage the material supply programme. Certain members of the community also managed the allocation procedure, which included all the documentation. The action of the community in completing their own houses encouraged more social responsibility and the managing of their own affairs on a broader scale. They used the People's Housing Process to achieve the objective of completing 600 houses for families with incomes below R1 500. The houses included individual water and sewer connections, which were included in the budget. The blocks were manufactured by the community and this stimulated entrepreneurship within the community. The community committee continues to tackle ongoing community needs such as security and health. The houses have one bedroom and a bathroom with a toilet and shower. The tin shacks that the beneficiaries used are still at the back of the two-roomed houses. The project won the nomination for best housing project. The beneficiaries are happy with their houses and they are grateful to the Department for providing them with decent homes. M. Bhobhoyi Show House The show house has been finished and the project has been approved but no houses have been built yet. The show house has been built with good quality material and has tiles for roofing. The top structure costs about R10 445 and services R7 245. The beneficiaries will be trained to build the houses themselves. The project is part of the People's Housing Process, and the developer will also be involved in building the houses. N. Kwa Dukuza Shakaville Men's Hostel 1. Background to project Preliminary investigations to upgrade the hostel started in 1994 (upgrade existing building with new ablution facilities and shower area). The tender to upgrade the hostel was advertised on 4 November 1998. Consultants Csko Coltzee, Steyn, Kruger, Oelsen (?) from Richard's Bay were appointed by the Department of Housing as project managers. In July 1999, the Department awarded the tender to a local contractor, Multipro Construction Company, for an amount of R352 000. 2. Project profile The men's hostel consists of three blocks with 44 rooms and a population of approximately 100 residents, including families. The hostel upgrade was completed in December 1999. A hostel committee is in place and residents pay R40 for rental, which includes communal water, maintenance, bed rental and caretaking. Rentals are collected and paid into the local authority's account. Each room has a pre-paid electricity meter. The local authority is presently doing emergency day-to-day maintenance and administration of the hostel. The family units have one room, which is used as a bedroom and a kitchen. There is a communal bathroom with toilets and showers. A woman is employed to clean the yard and the bathroom. Shakaville Women's Hostel 1. Project profile On 23 November 2000 the Kwa Dukuza Municipality awarded the tender to an emerging contractor, Macingwane Security and Gardening Services, for an amount of R116 000. Construction commenced in January 2001 and was completed in May 2001. The women's hostel has one block with 36 female residents. There are 11 rooms and a bathroom with toilets and showers. There are about two to three occupants sharing one room and using it as a bedroom and kitchen. The plan is to allocate these women to family units that are going to be built. There is a hostel committee in place and the residents pay R40 for rental, which includes communal water, maintenance, bed rental and caretaking. Both the men's and women's hostels are well kept. 2. Recommendation The issue of more than one person sharing a room should be discouraged. One person should be allocated to a room as occupants deserve privacy. Shakaville Family Units R294 000 is available from the Department as a pilot project for the construction of family units. This aspect is presently being discussed with the hostel development committee and the local authority. O. Newlands West - People's Dialogue 1. Background to project To access land for the housing project, the South African People's Homeless Federation, on behalf of the community, had to negotiate with the Durban Metro and the Department. Land was allocated to the community and loans to build houses were accessed from uTshani Fund by those who qualified. The beneficiaries are still waiting for their subsidies to be approved. Once they are, they will be able to pay back their loans with the subsidy grant. The Durban Metro arranged with different organisations to offer the community training on the maintenance of the project. The community had saved money to assist them to contribute towards subsidies. 2. Project profile The houses are 56m2 in size, with four rooms - two bedrooms, a lounge, a kitchen and a bathroom with a toilet and bathtub. They were built by women. Each house has a waterborne sewerage system and a water tap. The houses are big with two doors, one in the kitchen and the other in the lounge. The loan accessed from uTshani Fund is R10 000 and beneficiaries have to make repayments of R120 every month. Some beneficiaries raised additional funds to build bigger houses. 3. Stakeholders involved (a) Durban City Council (b) International organisations (c) Newlands community 4. Problems experienced (a) The project has been delayed because the beneficiaries cannot afford to proceed with construction due to financial constraints. (b) 15 beneficiaries have passed away, which makes it difficult for their loans to be repaid. (c) There is corruption with regard to the delivery of building material. Building material is often delivered to those who do not qualify for delivery. Some of the houses of beneficiaries who are first on the waiting list are still not complete due to allocation of material to the "wrong" beneficiaries. (d) The community believes that officials are not honest when they say their subsidies are not yet approved. They are suggesting that the Council should intervene in the matter. Despite the problems experienced by the community, this is an exceptional projects, as it incorporates the RDP principle that puts people at the centre of its development. 5. Recommendations (a) Local government should implement job creation projects to assist in fighting unemployment amongst the residents of Newlands West. P. Kwa Dabeka Hostel - Pinetown 1. Project profile The hostel consist of nine multi-storey buildings and has about 11 230 formal residents and 3 770 informal residents. The Department is doing emergency day-to-day maintenance and administration. So far an amount of R26,5 million has been spent for upgrading electrical distribution boards and partial external upgrading of block H. In order to embark on a pilot project 25 dormitories were converted to make provision for 25 family units in block A. A further R20 million was made available to continue with the upgrading programme. Another R20 million was made available to continue with the upgrading programme and also for the provision of family units. Rentals are collected by the Department and deposited into the Inner West City Council's account. Rental ranges from R11 to R25, depending on the number of residents per room. The tender was awarded to 35 different contractors. Local people were trainied to assist with the renovations. The units have a bathroom with basin, toilet and shower, two bedrooms, lounge and a kitchen. The community was consulted before the renovations were done. 2. Observations When the delegation arrived in the afternoon, electricity lights were on and there were water leakages. The general appearance of the outside surroundings was not good. 3. Recommendations (a) Control measures should be addressed by the hostel management. (b) Maintenance of the hostel needs to be improved and the environment cleaned on a continuous basis. Q. Thokoza Women's Hostel - Central Durban The Thokoza Women's hostel consist of three hostel blocks with 1 010 formal residents and 990 informal residents. Thus far an amount of R14 million was spent on upgrading the hostel. The Ethekwini Municipality is presently doing, at its own cost, day-to-day maintenance and administration. Rent is collected by the Ethekwini Municipality and ranges from R6,65 to R50,50, depending on the number of residents per room. The kitchen and toilets are communal. The general appearance of the hostel is good as it is kept clean. R. Comments The Committee intends to revisit KwaZulu-Natal. The programme was drafted in such a way that it did not cater for distances to be travelled. This resulted in the delegation spending little time in the areas visited. Despite the challenges faced by the province, delivery of houses is being speeded up. Rural houses are built and new housing projects are started. It is obvious that the Department is committed to ensure that the lives of the poor are improved. V. North West A. Visit 1. Introduction The delegation visited eight projects in different municipalities and also met with Mayors, councillors and relevant ward councillors of the different areas. It met with the housing MEC, Mr D Africa, on the third day, and was accompanied by officials from the Department for the entire tour. 2. Meeting with MEC The challenges of housing and infrastructure are vast and much has been done but much remains to be done to ensure equitable, sustainable and intergrated settlement development throughout the province. More than 16 000 houses were delivered in the province during the 2001-02 financial year. In order to eradicate the backlog of some 396 000 houses, an amount of R7 billion is required. Integration at all levels, with other sectors, other spheres of government, will be the only way the Department can coherently make a difference to housing and infrastructure delivery. 3. Project-linked programme This programme entails the establishment of townships and the transfer of full title to individuals. It comprises 94 urban and peri-urban projects to the value of more than R1,474 billion. A total of 41 357 dwellings have been constructed and more than 100 000 subsidies approved under this programme during the first six months of the 2001-02 financial year. 4. Project-linked rural housing programme The rural housing programme was finalised in 1999 and different projects have been launched in 2000-01. The programme includes 23 housing projects in rural areas, comprising 22 448 subsidies/units to the value of more than R355 million. A total of 1 655 dwellings have been constructed under this programme during the first six months of the 2001-02 financial year. 5. Individual subsidies programme The Housing Code allows individuals to access subsidies. A total of 9 524 individual subsidies have been approved and houses built to the value of R294,5 million. A total of 25 dwellings have been constructed under this programme during the first months of the 2001-02 financial year. 6. People's Housing Process Five housing support centres have been established to date. These centres enable local communities to create savings schemes from which dwellings are financed. They have been supported financially by the Department to an amount of nearly R50 million, which includes the approval of 3 324 housing subsidies. The People's Housing Process has completed 764 units to date, which are, on average, 50m2 in size. This year at least seven centres, especially in the rural areas, will be established. 7. Developer-driven individual subsidies This programme is targeted to assist SMMEs and small developers or contractors that are in a position to build houses up to 100 units at a time. A total of 71 dwellings have been constructed under this programme during the first six months of 2001-02 financial year. 8. Hostel redevelopment programme This programme entails the conversion of seven hostels into 2 172 family units. A total of 35 hostel units have been converted into dwellings under this programme during the first six months of the 2001-02 financial year. 9. Human settlement redevelopment programme The intention is to ensure urban renewal where necessary. Two projects to the value of R13 million have been completed in Winterveld and Mafikeng. 10. Housing projects for flood victims An amount of R8,1 million in the form of a conditional grant was specifically allocated to the Department to reconstruct/erect 501 dwellings damaged during the floods of February 2000. A total of 317 dwellings have been constructed under this programme during the first six months of the 2001-02 financial year. 11. HIV/AIDS The possibility of setting aside houses to cater for AIDS orphans, people living with HIV/AIDS and the elderly in conjunction with relevant welfare and health departments is being explored. 12. Women in housing The 10% target set by national housing has to be met by 1 April 2003. At the moment there are 5,7% women who are executing 10 housing projects comprising 5 270 subsidies to the value of R134 million. In terms of the new procurement policy preference will be given to women developers. 13. Presidential job summit - rental housing programme The national Department of Housing has set aside funding for the erection of 5 000 rental housing units to the value of approximately R250 million in North West, in respect of which 75% must be retained for rental purposes and only 25% may be sold. 14. Job creation The MEC has urged developers to address the issue of job creation. 15. Housing institutions The province is concerned at the fact that they are excluded from the benefits of different housing institutions. B. Briefing by Mr E Sinovich Mr Sinovich briefed the delegation on the new policy imperatives and challenges faced by the Department, as follows: 1. Increase in subsidy People's Housing Process beneficiaries will not be compelled to pay a contribution. The increase in the subsidy was effective on 1 April 2002 and it only applies to projects approved after 1 April 2002. The Minister has been requested to consider the People's Housing Process as an exeption to the rule and let the effective date be 2 January 2002. The Department is still waiting for her approval. 2. New procurement regime The housing MINMEC on 29 May 2000 approved a proposal on the procurement principles required to enable the housing subsidy scheme to comply with the provisions of section 217 of the Constitution. Consequently, on 21 July 2000, the heads of housing departments approved new procurement procedures in respect of the housing subsidy scheme. A new complete process for housing development will be introduced, with fair competition in all phases. Firstly, IDPs will be finalised, needs and priorities identified and suitable areas for addressing needs will be identified. Municipalities will be invited to make provision in their applications for a profile of the communities. Land offer calls will be made after all information has been received from municipalities. Land will be accessed through negotiations with owners if it is private land. Municipalities will conclude land purchase agreements with landowners. Project description - municipalities will have to compile project descriptions, which comprise the number of subsidies, and undertake to provide services and land acquisition agreement. In order to deliver, it is necessary to appoint a developer to manage the project, contractors to install services and to build houses. The developer will then decide how to undertake a project best suited for local circumstances. It will decide on how to construct houses (for instance, the design). It can decide to engage in the People's Housing Process, it can execute the project itself or outsource the project. Most people prefer to build their own houses but the problem is they do not fall under the warranty cover offered by the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). Another problem is that it takes time before PHP projects are completed. 49% of developers in the North West are women, only two of the six women developers are emerging ones, the rest being fully-fledged developers. Only a few people receive free basic services, as municipalities have no authority to provide water and electricity. Water is provided by the Department of Water Affairs and electricity by Eskom. 3. Recommendations (a) The People's Housing Process must not be excluded from the warranty scheme. (b) Policy should ensure that in a developer's contract it is stipulated that local small contractors should be capacitated and utilised and that first preference should be given to emerging women contractors. C. Briefing by North West Housing Corporation (NWHC) After 1994 transformation took place and it resulted in a new company, the Housing Infrastructure Development Company (Hidco). There were management problems within the Company which emanated from before 1994 and continued after 1994. The role of the board had to be changed before it became the NWHC. Until 1997, the NWHC received funding from the government. 1. Financial overview The NWHC has stock of R210 million. This include R20 million (flats) and serviced stands (R39 million). All of them are at book value, which on average is 50% below market value. Work in progress amount to R42 million Accounts receivable - R220 million Fixed Assets - R1 million Investments - R7 million Liabilities of the NWHC are mostly historical - long-term loans of about R77 million (Public Investment Commissioners), Winterveld Trust (R5 million), accounts payable by SA Housing Trust (R22 million), and retention of about R1 million. It has stock worth R210 million. 2. Challenges facing NWHC (a) Policy and financial The transformation and repositioning process still needs to be completed and the legacy problems still needs to be solved. The NWHC has to reduce its liabilities. (b) Housing delivery * More units have to be delivered. * The quality and size of the units constructed have to be improved. * The NWHC has to offer those who have already benefitted an opportunity to improve and enlarge their homes. * It also has to improve access to housing finance and implement the discount benefit scheme and, where applicable, pass ownership. (c) Policy * The transformation process still needs to be completed. * Transit to HIDCO also has to be completed. * HIDCO has to be changed into a s21 company. * All operations and policies based on the old dispensation still have to be eliminated. * With the new mandate from the province, the NWHC has to be realigned (e.g. introduction of social housing). * The NWHC has to work with housing institutions at national level through co-operation and joint ventures. (d) Financial There is a need for the NWHC to: * Access short-term finance to pay current liabilities. * Collect accounts receivable, especially from government institutions. * Become a primary market lender. * Resolve barriers related to work in progress: - Proclamation R293 - Land transfer. * Renegotiate terms for the loans obtained in the past, if they cannot be turned into grants. The NWHC is requesting the intervention and assistance of the Committee, the Department of Housing, the Social Housing Foundation, NURCHA and the NHFC in addressing and solving the following problems: * The transfer of land among government spheres - there are houses that have been built on national land - some of the land has been transferred to the municipality. * Properties in the Free State - the NWHC has properties in Thaba Nchu that, under the new demarcation, fall under the jurisdiction of the Free State. The NWHC want the land transferred back to them. They need help with negotiations between North West and the Free State over properties in Thabu Nchu. * Loans taken during the old dispensation - the NWHC requests that loans taken by them in the old dispensation be turned into grants, especially in view of the NWHC not receiving annual grants anymore. (e) Department of Housing The NWHC suggests that if no immediate legislative solution to the problem of proclamation R293 can be found, it seeks the following: * Co-operation of the Department of Provincial and Local Government, the State Attorney and the Surveyor-General to speed up the opening of new township registers. * Intervention of the Department of Provincial and Local Government to help municipalities take over basic services rendered by the NWHC. * Guidance of the Department where a discount benefit is given to beneficiaries while the NWHC has to service loans and pay interest as well. * Intervention from Provincial and Local Government in the matter of rent collected by municipalities on behalf of the NWHC but was never paid over, for example R5,7 million from Temba, Mabopane and Garankuwa alone. (f) Social Housing Foundation NWHC requests the Social Housing Foundation to: * Utilise the NWHC's experience in rental housing * Form a partnership to develop capacity among municipalities * Turn some of the NWHC's existing flats into social housing projects and utilise some of the services stands for the same purpose Arrangements are being made for the NWHC to have their first meeting with the Foundation. (g) National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency (NURCHA) The NWHC would like to have joint ventures with NURCHA for non-subsidy projects and to have NURCHA bridging finance for low-cost projects. Applications are finalised for low-cost projects and one affordable housing project for the short term, while another affordable housing project is planned for the medium term. (h) National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) The NHFC is unfortunately not operating in the North West. * The NWHC approached the NHFC for short-term financing of R10 million for operational expenses * The NWHC needs to turn existing instalment purchase agreements into loans and sell them to the NHFC * The NWHC needs to form a joint venture with NURCHA to build houses for those on the waiting list with end-user finance and loans sold to the NHFC. D. Meeting with Stinkwater Municipality The delegation met with the Mayor, the Council, ward councillors, the developer and members of the community. The local council informed the delegation that members of the ward committee was not informed of the delegation's visit. They are happy with the top structure but are struggling to get clean water. The water supply is low and the capacity of the local dam is not great. The developer, Megacom Housing, briefed the Committee: 1 267 houses have been completed and are ready for the beneficiaries to sign their happy letters. 1 307 units have been roofed but are not yet occupied. 1 348 units (up to wall paper, not roofed yet) have been built thus far. The type of foundation built is approved by engineers before it can be built, and blocks used were approved by the CSIR. Local people were employed in the project and there are about 904 workers on site, 610 men and 294 women. Funds were not made available for a water-borne sewerage. People fetch water from water taps, 200m away from their households. E. Stinkwater rural housing project 1. Background Stinkwater township is situated on the remainder portion 6 of the farm Stinkwater, 15 km from Hammanskraal. It is adjacent to Dilopye (to the west) and on the road between Temba and Soshanguve. The contract for the development to commence was signed in May 2000. The project to build 200 units was started in May 2002, and the project is developer-driven. 2. Stakeholders involved The Stinkwater local development forum community-based partner Megacom Housing - developer The district council The RDP standing committee The main objective of the agreement was to provide low-cost housing - a type of individual house acceptable to the community. The services level comprised graded roads. 3. Project execution The portion of land that the project was built on, was transferred from the national government to the North West so that each site could be registered in the name of the beneficiary. CMIP funding was also approved for the provision of bulk water. Construction of internal infrastructure began in October 2000 and was completed in July 2001. 4. Project profile Internal services comprise a water tap in each yard, a pit toilet and graded roads. The units are 40m2 and the project value is R36 800. By the end of May 2002, water construction for the area will be completed, as it is now under construction. The houses consist of three rooms with three windows, plastered inside and outside and also painted externally in a variety of colours. The blocks for the project are manufactured on site, thus increasing opportunities for local labour and transporters. Sand was transported by local people and blocks were manufactured locally. The houses do not have bathrooms. Local-based labour was used by the developer to promote training and skills transfer and to ensure maximum community involvement. The project created employment opportunities for about 1 045 people, which included 189 women, 452 men and 404 youths (under 30 years). The project is not yet complete. 1 307 units have been roofed but not yet occupied. 1 267 units have been completed and ready for the beneficiaries to sign happy letters. 5. Problems experienced (a) Some women cannot access houses and some are not allowed to sign happy letters. According to one of the beneficiaries, it is only their husbands who are allowed to sign the happy letters. Her husband is not interested to stay in the house and she is worried that when the title deed is given to the beneficiary, her husband will refuse to hand it over to her. (b) The municipality is not actively involved in Stinkwater. (c) Water supply is in demand in the area and the community has some difficulty in accessing water, as the capacity of the local dam is low. The community has been without water for three weeks. The matter has been taken up with the Department of Water Affairs. (d) The approval of the project was delayed - the application for the project was submitted in 1996 and the project was approved in 1999. (e) Developers are accused of not empowering subcontractors and only allowing them to do painting and installation of window-panes. They employed local brick layers and local people as labourers. (f) Local and provincial governments were not allowed to solve the problems experienced with the developer. The provincial housing committee will revisit the area to meet the local people and the developer, Megacom Housing. The purpose of the visit will be to find out exactly what the problems of the community are. 6. Recommendations (a) The Department of Water Affairs should expedite the provision of water to the community. (b) Contracts signed by developers should stipulate that they should fully empower local contractors. (c) The Department should see to it that the municipality is actively involved in matters affecting the Stinkwater community. F. Mabopane Unit U 1. Project profile This project is located in Mapobane and is referred to as Unit U. It is situated North of the Morula Sun and is adjacent to the Sand River. This project consists of 1 411 housing units to the value of R259 624 000 and is developer-driven. To date R231 537 35,50 has been paid over. The houses are 30m2 (on a minimum size of 250m2). The houses have a bathroom with a basin and toilet and one big room used as a bedroom, and a lounge and kitchen. Provision has been made for a bathtub. Eskom is installing meters for electricity and local people are trained and were employed to assist with the installation. The developers had consulted the community before the project was started. Each house has full water-borne sewerage and a water tap. All internal roads have been graded and a tarred bus road is provided. Construction of the units commenced in May 2001 and the project was completed in November 2001. Training was provided for the local people employed in the project, and as such skills were transferred to them. 2. Stakeholders involved The project was successfully run by community members, the municipality, SANCO and the developer, Homes 2000. 3. Problems experienced (a) Some of the houses have structural defects. There are cracks in the walls even though they were recently built. (b) Some subcontractors approached the developer but only one was employed; the local people employed in the project were underpaid. (c) There are school children who own houses and who do not qualify for subsidies. Of the 1 411 houses, 200 are occupied illegally. (d) Some of the houses are used for business purposes. (e) Some of the houses are built along the river banks. The MEC promised to look at the matter and to ensure that it does not happen again. 4. Recommendations (a) The Department should ensure that Homes 2000 repair the cracks in the walls, caused by poor workmanship on their part. The Department should see to it that houses are properly allocated and are occupied by the people who qualify for them. It should ensure that these houses are used only for residential purposes and not for business purposes. (c) The Department should investigate whether there are houses that are built below the flood line, and if there are, the occupants should be relocated elsewhere. G. Garankuwa view 1. Project profile This project is situated north of Garankuwa's industrial area. It consists of 3 249 units to the value of R597 816 000. To date R404 313 93,33 has been paid for the project. The houses are 30m2 in size (on a minimum stand size of 250m2). These houses have one room and a bathroom. Each house has water-borne sewerage and one water tap is installed outside. Electricity has not been installed. All internal roads have been graded and a tarred bus road is provided. Construction of the units commenced in April 2001 and the project was completed in November 2001. The project has been successfully run by the steering committee, which consisted of the municipality, Homes 2002 and the CBP. In phase 2 of the project, 935 houses will be built. Land identified for the project was an industrial area, and the developer is waiting for the municipality to allocate land for the project. 2. Problems experienced (a) It is very inconveniencing for beneficiaries to access water from the water tap outside. (b) There is no privacy in the house, as there is only one room where the whole family sleeps. (c) It is very dark in the road at night, as there are no streetlights. (d) School children have to walk about 15 km to the nearest primary school. The developer is going to donate the show house to be used as a clinic. Trees were also donated by the developer. 3. Recommendations (a) Provision should be made for a school bus to transport pupils until a school is built in the area. (b) The Department should in future ensure that developers build houses according to set norms and standards. (c) Streetlights should be installed as matter of urgency, as the area is prone to crime. H. Meeting with SA Homeless People's Federation The delegation met with councillors and members of the SA Homeless People's Federation (SAHPF). The SAHPF briefed the delegation as follows: Most people in the area do not earn enough to support their families. Some are pensioners who have to support their families. The People's Dialogue/Federation's approach to savings differs fundamentally from the conventional type of savings. The SAHPF has moved away from set monthly savings and loan repayments required. Instead, there are treasures that are trained to make daily collections of loan repayments. These daily collections can be any amount. Some people started saving as little as 20 cents, because some people are unemployed and are involved in the informal sector. As soon as people have saved enough, they are grouped in numbers of 10 and allowed to access Utshani Fund. Utshani Fund is a fund that provides low-cost finance directly to the savings groups affiliated to the SAHPF. The size of the houses built in Oukasie range between 56 and 72m2. The houses are built of cement blocks and cost about R10 000. Building costs are reduced by using voluntary unskilled labour from families that are building, buying material collectively, negotiating low prices with local builders for the skills that are needed, eliminating the profit in contractor building, re-using existing building material and manufacturing their own building blocks. This enables the community to extend their houses. I. Oukasie People's Housing Process 1. Background to project Oukasie was owned by a farmer and was not rezoned for human settlement. The application to develop the 570 sites in Oukasie was submitted by the SAHPF. The project was initially approved for 300 subsidies and was subsequently increased to 570 as a result of the increase in demand for houses. The community of Oukasie started saving for their houses from as little as 20 cents daily. Some of the people are poor and others are pensioners who have to support their families. As poor people they met to find ways of assisting each other. Those who have been saving were allowed to access uTshani Fund and were shown model houses before their houses are built so that they understand exactly what their houses will be like. 2. Project profile The total value of the project is R4 845 000, and R263 500 has been paid. About 80 houses have been completed and handed over to beneficiaries. They vary in design and size - there are four-roomed, five-and-a-half-roomed and two-roomed houses. The sizes are between 56m2 and 72m2. The houses have big windows, electricity, ventilation, and the bricks used are of good quality. Material to build the houses is also obtained from shacks that the beneficiaries were occupying previously. The cost of a 69m2 five-roomed house built by one Patrick Matsimela was R12 000, and old material from an old shack was used to build the house. In respect of each house, it takes two weeks to build the foundation, two to three days to build the top structure, and another two days to put up the roof. 3. Problems experienced (a) There were delays in the processing of the transfer of land and this has resulted in the Department refusing to release subsidies hence only 80 houses were built. Most people are now waiting for their subsidies to be approved. According to the SAHPF developers were granted land yet they are refused access to land. (b) It is difficult to acquire title deeds and this results in subsidies not being released by the Department. The People's Dialogue has been negotiating with the Municipality for three years and the Municipality has promised to process the applications for title deeds. (c) Some people have built houses even though they do not have title deeds. SAPHF is proposing that they be issued with title deeds. 4. Recommendations (a) The Department of Housing should expedite the issuing of title deeds to the community, especially to those who have already built their houses. The issuing of title deeds will enable the community to access subsidies. 5. Comments The delegation was impressed with the commitment of the community to own their own houses, the size and design of the houses and the quality of building material used in the Oukasie People's Housing Process. From the observation that was made by the delegation, it is obvious that the People's Housing Process is the way to go. J. Meeting with Klerksdorp City Council The delegation met with the Council and was briefed by the Executive Mayor, who gave an overview of the challenges faced by the municipality. The Council has developed a strategic document in response to challenges facing the municipality, and is working hard to ensure that these challenges are met. The first social housing association will be set up before the end of June 2002. The social housing foundation is supporting the municipality. Since 1994, 26 housing projects have been built and 90% of the projects were people-driven. Over 30 000 houses of 42m2 have been built in the area. The municipality has prioritised the People's Housing Process, as development has to be people-driven to succeed. Since 2002, no projects have been approved. The Council wants to ensure that the projects create jobs and are labour-intensive. 1. Problems experienced (a) The manner in which the steering committee at municipal level was set up, created problems. That committee was not trained to carry out its mandate and they do not know where their responsibility starts or ends. It was explained to them that they should give way to the ward committee members. (b) Most of the projects that are developer-driven, are incomplete. Some of the projects that were paid for are not yet constructed - there are no structures in place. The Mayor is aware of the problem and will be assisting in rectifying it. (c) Women empowerment and poverty alleviation have not yet been achieved. With regard to black empowerment, the municipality is doing well and has received the Mpumelelo award. (d) Building material in some cases is dumped with the beneficiaries, and these beneficiaries are forced by developers and contractors to sign happy letters in respect of houses that have not yet been built. The developers have been cautioned not to continue with this activity. (e) There are serious backlogs in the delivery of houses. 8 000 people are on the waiting list for stands to be allocated to them. (f) Most communities are still using the bucket system and it is going to take a long time before the system is improved. (g) Some beneficiaries have disappeared and it is difficult to trace them. (h) Other allegations include the exploitation of historically disadvantaged communities and contractors in the name of black empowerment. 2. Recommendations (a) The Department should address the bucket system problem and should ensure that programmes to replace the bucket system with adequate sanitation are put in place. (b) The municipality should speed up the process of ensuring that houses left vacant by beneficiaries are occupied. (c) Developers engaged in illegal activities should be brought to book. (d) The housing backlog should be addressed as a matter of urgency. (e) Proper training in building skills should be provided for women. K. Kanana Hostel 1. Project profile R1,4 million was approved for the renovation of the project. Renovations were started in 2000 and are still not completed. There are about 800 residents in the hostel, some of whom used to work in the mines, most of which have been closed down. The Council does not have the records of people who should be staying in the hostel, and residents stay free of charge. There are only three water taps in the whole hostel. According to the councillor in the area, 99% of the residents are unemployed; some are from Lesotho and Mozambique and do not possess South African identification documents. This makes it difficult for them to get employment. 2. Problems experienced (a) Delays in the awarding of tenders - Roofguard was awarded the contract to renovate the hostel. Kanana-based building contractors demanded to be awarded the contract. On 21 July 199, the Council agreed that 40% of the contract be awarded to local contractors. Construction commenced on 30 March 2000, but due to poor performance by Roofguard the Council adopted a resolution to cancel their contract. L Construction and Ncedanani were appointed to complete the work started by Roofguard. (b) Vandalism and theft - building contractors were assured that units would be vacated during construction work. This arrangement never materialised and some R25 000 was lost as a result of vandalism and theft on site. (c) Delays in construction - significant delays in construction work were experienced as a result of the presence of occupants in the hostel building during construction. (d) Poor payment of subcontractors by main contractors - this resulted in disputes and work stoppages. (e) Lack of sanitation - there are no toilets in the hostel. A bucket system was previously used but now there are no buckets, as they are continuously being stolen. The Council did not set aside funds for sanitation and water supply when they budgeted for renovation of the hostel. (f) There is a high rate of illnesses in the hostel - some of the residents suffer from TB and sexually transmitted diseases. The Klerksdorp Municipality inherited this problem from the Orkney Municipality. According to the MEC, the Klerksdorp Municipality received R7 million, but only utilised R1 million. The project to remove the bucket system is under way, but the municipalities are fighting about who should be awarded the tender for the projects. The Department tried to assist the Council, but the Council was unable to carry out its responsibilities because most of the projects were implemented during the transitional period when they the municipalities were not yet in power. Funds will be made available for the improvement of the Kanana hostel. 3. Recommendation The Council needs to urgently improve the living conditions in the hostel and should also implement proper control of access to the hostel. L. Khuma Extension 2 & 3 - Stilfontein Housing Project 1. Project profile The project is situated near Orkney and the stands are all serviced with essential infrastructure. The entire project has 477 units to the value of R8 228 250. To date R7 412 131,50 has been paid in respect of this project. Local people and local subcontractors were employed to build the top structure. The size of the units is 40m2, and 7 000 houses have been built. The houses have waterborne sewerage and water taps. 2. Problems experienced Some of the houses are vandalised; 150 houses are unoccupied (without beneficiaries). 10% of the beneficiaries have passed away and some people are illegally occupying their houses. 3. Recommendation People on the waiting list should be allocated to the unoccupied houses and the illegally occupied houses. M. Blydeville - Lichtenburg 1. Project profile The value of the project is R34 586 250 and it has 2 005 units. R29 530 951,55 has been paid in respect of the project. The land where the project is situated, is a portion of the remainder of portion 1 of Farm Rietdraai 51 - 1P. Blydeville is located to the south of Lichtenburg and was a former "coloured" township. With the exception of a few businesses, Blydeville is primarily a residential area. The Lichtenburg Municipality provides water and sanitation to the beneficiaries at no cost. The services provided include graded gravel roads, electricity, water and sanitation. The land was made available by the municipality at no cost at all. The size of the houses is 32m2 and the stand sizes range between 250m2 and 450m2. The houses have one room and a kitchen and are electrified. The Council is the developer and the Department of Local Government and Housing is the subcontractor. Each house has waterborne sewage and a water tap, the bathroom has a toilet and a basin, but there is no shower. 2. Problems experienced Some beneficiaries cannot afford to pay electricity and as a result electricity supply to them has been disconnected. Electricity supplied is not prepaid. 3. Recommendations (a) The Department should assist in ensuring that prepaid electricity meters are installed in all households to avoid non-payment of electricity accounts. (b) The Department together with the municipality should establish whether the construction method used in the project is favourable for the units to be extended. (c) As there is plenty of space for a shower in the bathroom, it is suggested that these should be installed. N. Mathatheng Flood Reconstruction Rural Housing Project by Women 1. Background to project In 2000, Mathatheng and other neighbouring areas within North West experienced torrential rainfalls, which left a huge number of people without homes. The government was not aware of the plight of the Mathatheng community. It was the SABC that brought this to the eyes of the government by producing a documentary on the community. The Department of Local Government and Housing responded to this call by approving for an amount of R10,6 million to be allocated for reconstruction in this area. R288 000 was allocated to 18 beneficiaries and each received a relief fund amount of R16 000. There are about 400 people living in the community of Mathatheng. 2. Implementation process Thaba housing support organisation was appointed by beneficiaries to render the following support services: (a) Capacitate beneficiaries in all aspects of housing. (b) Empower them through skills transfer. (c) Support and strengthen their capabilities throughout the reconstruction process. (d) Offer training in respect of indigenous building technology. (e) Train them in project management. (f) Assist them in the establishment of the housing support centre. The project was implemented in terms of the Rural Housing Programme and the People's Housing Process. 3. Specifications - norms and standards The norms and standards were designed and put in place by the Department, the Thaba housing support organisation and the beneficiaries. Structures not less than 45m2 ion extent were constructed by the beneficiaries themselves through the above-mentioned acquired skills. Toilets are outside and are pit toilets. Prepaid metres for electricity have been installed. The houses have different designs and the number of rooms differs from house to house. Although 18 houses have been rebuilt, there is need for an integrated and sustainable rural development strategy. With the skills acquired, beneficiaries have the potential to undertake any housing development process. The MEC has approved the building of an additional 250 houses. 4. Problems experienced (a) Schoolchildren have to walk a long distance to the nearest school. There are no clinics or shops in the area and one has to walk long distances for medical assistance and for buying groceries. The Council is struggling to obtain a mobile clinic. (b) There are no water taps in the area and the community accesses water from bore holes. (c) The community is skeptical of the People's Housing Process. When it was launched, the community thought it was one of those schemes where people are conned out of their money. 5. Recommendations (a) The Department of Transport needs to assist by providing the children with a school bus until a school is built in the area. (b) The Department of Water Affairs should assist in ensuring that water is made available for the community. (c) The Department of Health is urged to come to the rescue of the community by ensuring that at least a mobile clinic is provided in the meantime. (d) The People's Housing Process programme needs to be launched so that people can be informed of what exactly it entails. Redevelopment of the houses in Mathatheng has brought back dignity to the beneficiaries whose houses had been destroyed. O. North West Provincial Housing Policy Update Workshop The delegation briefly attended a workshop session on the policy update. The workshop was organised by the provincial Department and was attended by approximately 200 delegates consisting of porvincial housing stakeholders. Matters discussed included the increase in subsidy amounts and a new procurement policy. Unfortunately the delegation could not attend the whole two-day session, as it had to leave on the first day. P. Comments The North West Department of Housing is fully involved in housing development. There are many projects currently taking place with a view of tackling the housing challenge and problems experienced by different communities. The MEC is aware of most of the problems that are faced by beneficiaries in different communities. He is committed to addressing them and is doing so in line with the policies of the government. VI. Conclusion It is obvious that much has been achieved, but there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that inhabitants of this country are housed. The structure, vision, policies and legislation that are now in place, create the platform from which to effectively move forward. Collective efforts are needed to establish a productive climate that will remove the plight of the homeless. The creation of partnerships between the various spheres of government, the private sector and the communities is fundamental for sustained delivery of housing. It assists in ensuring that different parties accept their responsibilities and work together in unity with a common purpose. By meeting the housing challenge, the social structures of this country will be rebuilt, thus regenerating the economy and integrating communities. These integrated communities should be situated in areas that allow convenient access to economic opportunities and health, educational and social amenities. 2b1af7f3a8