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The HDA’s first month with full time staff and a newly opened office in the Free State has been very active with municipal visits and presentations to the four municipalities that form part of the Free State Medium-Term Operational Plan, namely Metsimaholo, Mangaung, Moqhakaand Dihlabeng, as well as Xhariep.

From a delivery perspective, the operational plan outlines how the HDA supports the Free State Department of Human Settlements to meet its human settlements programme objectives, in particular with regards Outcome 8. Particular areas of support include informal settlement upgrading, projects pipeline, project implementation, land assembly, land holding and IGR collaboration.

The Free State Department of Human Settlements was informed about the planned visits and were pleased and supportive.

In these meetings, the municipal delegations were made up of the housing managers, IDP managers, town planners, strategy managers, disaster managers, and COOs. During the meeting with Mangaung Metro, the HDA was joined by the chief director from the Provincial Department of Human Settlements, Carol Tlali, and Motheo District Manager for Human Settlements, P Ramaketsa. 

The municipalities were welcoming and indicated the areas where they require on-going support from the HDA. Some municipalities also shared presentations on the status quo of their human settlements challenges. They all committed to convening follow-up meetings with the HDA during August and September.

The aim of the follow-up meetings will be to finalise the areas of support that the HDA will provide and the possibility of signing IPs and MTOPs will be explored. The municipalitiesalso committed to share the HDA presentations and publications with their executive management teams and mayoral committees.

In addition to the meetings with the four MTOP municipalities, the HDA also met with Xhariep District Municipality to explore possible support in the areas of emergency housing implementation, project management for the development of their disaster management centre, and land acquisition management.