An estimated 3 000 kilometres of driving is behind the HDA team who spent the week of 7 to 11 February in the Free State visiting municipalities, housing projects and properties identified for future development. An initial meeting was held with the HOD and senior officials from the Free State Department of Human Settlements to better understand the challenges experienced in the implementation of blocked projects and land assembly. For the next three days, two teams drove to each corner of the Province. The municipalities were all welcoming and shared with the team what was becoming a familiar refrain “Yes, well-located state-owned land has been identified for human settlement development but it is impossible to get it released” and of course the issue of funding or lack of it for bulk infrastructure.

On the final day we shared the HDA’s findings were shared with the Provincial Department. The Agency’s hard work was acknowledged and the start of a long-term relationship between the HDA and the Department was confirmed. “You are here to stay” said Chief Director, Kaiser Maxatshwa, “and we want to make noise about this partnership”. Outcome – the HDA will – based on experience and data gathered during the week - put together a land assembly and project action plan for the province. View photographs of the visit - gallery one, gallery two, gallery three, gallery four, and gallery five.