Cape Town - Government is shifting the responsibility of providing low-income housing to certain municipalities, according to the 2014/15 budget tabled in Parliament on Wednesday.

The National Development Plan recommended that responsibility for housing should shift to municipal level, where human settlement planning takes place.

According to the budget review document, government had therefore introduced a municipal human settlements capacity grant from 2014/15.

This year, human settlement programmes would be transferred from provinces to six metropolitan municipalities.

Another initiative would address suitable sanitation systems in households.

Cabinet approved a sanitation programme to quicken the eradication of bucket toilets.

As a result, the capital assets budget was set to increase by R1.9 billion in 2014/15 and 2015/16. This would remove around 273,300 bucket toilets from homes in formal and informal areas in the next two years.

Another programme would be developed this year to support poor rural municipalities in providing on-site sanitation services. These would be funded through the rural household infrastructure grant.

In his 2014 budget speech Gordhan said over R70bn had been spent on human settlement programmes over the last five years, contributing to 590,000 houses being built.

The capital restructuring grant would contribute to the delivery of around 18,000 medium density rental housing units for families with an income of between R1500 and R7500 per month.

Through the housing development finance programme, provinces and municipalities were expected to deliver an extra 215,621 low income houses and upgrade a further 225,505 sites for development over the medium term.

Housing development had been budgeted R34.8bn for the new financial year.