The HDA has put in place efficient systems and procedures to support provinces and municipalities in releasing state-owned land and/or purchasing private land for human settlement development.
We are surpassing our land targets and to date we have released close to 13 000 hectares of state-owned land across the country. Our next challenge is to monitor that the land is indeed being used for human settlements, to quantify the units being built and to assist in removing potential blockages during the township establishment and project-packaging stages. Minister Sisulu recently announced that the HDA would be the central point for all human settlement land transactions in South Africa. The implications of her announcement will be unpacked at a land conference being planned for February 2016.
The NDHS and Transnet recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the creation of integrated human settlements – mainly hostels – on Transnet land. The objectives of the MoU are to create 50 000 housing opportunities across the country; to facilitate the release of vacant land, buildings and hostels for conversion into liveable residential accommodation; and to make available affordable accommodation and affordable stock for the rental market. Although some are sound and well managed, many hostels are characterised by challenges such as illegal invasions, non-compliance, high holding costs, litigation matters, security issues and dilapidated structures.
To illustrate the value-added services that the HDA can provide, listed below are various studies that the HDA conducted on various properties:
- Pre-feasibility studies focusing on town planning aspects to establish suitability of the properties for human settlement development
- Land holding and occupancy high level report was commissioned to inform the current management costs of the properties and any rental income currently collected
- As part of our service offering and considering that state-owned company land is currently offered at market value, valuations were conducted on all the properties to determine a fair market value
- Due to the complexity of this project and the subject properties, due diligence reports are under way on the structural integrity of the buildings, social studies on the occupants, legal implications, possible and recommended developments i.e community residential units (CRU), Breaking new ground units (BNG) etc.
- Finally, the due diligence reports will detail the financial implication of both the acquisition of the hostels and the remedial proposals recommended (i.e conversations, renovations, demolitions etc)
Over and above this list, the HDA can provide the following services to provinces and municipalities for human settlement development:
- Identifying, acquiring, planning and releasing state- and privately-owned land and property
- Development and town planning assistance
- Assistance with title and tenure matters
- Land holding