Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay

Durban - eThekwini Municipality has received more than R1 billion – by far the biggest slice of the housing budget the KZN provincial government has allocated to municipalities.

The budget was announced on Tuesday when the provincial Department of Human Settlements appeared before the finance portfolio committee at the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

The department has set aside R3.2bn for housing projects in the metro and 10 district municipalities.

Uthungulu District Municipality in Richards Bay received R456 million – the second biggest allocation, while Durban got a whopping R1.15bn. The uMgungundlovu District Municipality was granted R331m.

The department said it had allocated large amounts to eThekwini and uThungulu because they had the highest demand for housing due to their large, growing populations.

Cornubia, Ethafeni, Lamontville Slums Clearance, Ntuzuma and Emalangeni were housing projects in Durban that would benefit significantly from the generous budget.

Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay said a plan to empower the country’s metros to deliver houses without depending on the human settlement department had been put on hold for now. He said if metros received those powers, it would mean they would get their budget directly from the national treasury, but human settlements would continue to play an oversight role.

The Mercury