ACTIVE: Lindiwe Sisulu
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has announced the establishment of a bank that will deal with people in the housing gap market.

Sisulu said during her budget vote in Parliament yesterday that the bank was critical for the market, which had been struggling.

The housing gap market includes mainly public servants who are too well off to get RDP houses and too poor to qualify for mortgages at banks.

Sisulu also announced that they would build a house for the family of Matlhomola Mosweu, who was killed in Coligny a few weeks ago, sparking violent protests.

Two men were arrested and charged for his murder.

Sisulu said they would start building the home next week.

She was called by Human Rights Commission chairperson Bongani Majola to alert her to the plight of the teenager’s family in North West.

In her budget speech, she said they had delivered what they promised.

“We now have our own bank, the Human Settlements Development Bank, which has been established and will be launched on Friday morning (today),” said Sisulu.

“The bank will facilitate the scaled-up delivery of Flisp (the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme) to qualifying beneficiaries in the gap market, including the Government Employee Housing Scheme.

“The strategic focus of the bank will be to facilitate the increased provision of finance across the human settlements value chain, and the specific priority for the bank in this respect is the mobilisation and provision of finance for all planned catalytic projects,” she said.

Sisulu added that the bank would be the entry point to the industry for struggling black entrepreneurs.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee on human settlements Nocawe Mafu, said they backed the establishment of the bank.

She said they would monitor the bank to check it fulfilled its mandate and responsibility, and that they wanted it to support new black entrepreneurs.

Solly Malatsi of the DA called for a credible housing database in order to deal with the backlog of people on the waiting list.

He said many people had been on the list for far too long.

Sisulu said they had now established a credible centralised housing database that would not be easily manipulated.

Mmabatho Mokause of the EFF said Sisulu was not telling the truth that her department was delivering 1200 houses a day.

She added that the country was up in smoke because people wanted houses.

Mokause said the recent violent protests near Joburg showed that the government was lagging behind in housing delivery.

Sisulu also announced the appointment of a Human Settlements Ombudsman to deal with complaints in the department.

The former chief executive in the Office of the Public Protector, Themba Mthethwa, has been appointed as the new ombudsman.

Sisulu said they would prioritise the complaints of entrepreneurs who were not paid on time by provincial departments.