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HDA CEO Taffy Adler, representing Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, participated in a panel discussion at the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) summit on 31 October 2014.

The summit, held under the theme “A partnership for Housing Delivery”, focused on identifying challenges and opportunities with a view to guiding the banking sector in developing implementable programmes to address the housing challenges in South Africa.

Among the other panellists were BASA chairperson Sizwe Nxasana, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, First National Bank CEO Jacques Celliers, Basil Read Developments managing director Yusuf Patel and Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.

Speaking at the summit, Adler said the Human Settlements Minister and Cabinet had set a target of building 1.5-million houses over the next five years:

“Achieving this target would require a huge amount of co-ordination and a range of mechanisms to unlock the two biggest blockages, which are the provision of bulk services and the turnaround time because of the regulatory framework.”

He further added that the kind of ingenuity that the banking sector internationally brought to high-end individuals also needs to be brought to low-end individuals.

“The banking sector has to take some risk and find a way of making finance to this sector of the population accessible and affordable. It can and has to be done,” he said.