Sisulu to launch Human Settlements bank

Cape Town – Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will launch a departmental development bank this week, she announced in Parliament on Thursday.

Sisulu was briefing the media on her department’s upcoming budget vote debate, and said the details of the bank, including its name, would be revealed on Friday.

Director General Mbulelo Tshangana said the development of the bank had been a long time coming, and would be an amalgamation of the three development finance institutions (DFI) the department already had.

They had no intention of competing with private banks, and had already started engaging with some of these banks around the idea of partnering with them.

Those wishing to claim a loan from the bank for a title deed must have a family household of R240 000 income per year or less, Tshangana said.

“We fund end users, we fund developers, we fund projects. It’s a wide range of products and services and we will also be helping government entities that don’t have capacity.

“It’s not your typical commercial bank; it’s a fully-fledged DFI,” he said.

More details will be presented on Friday.

Sisulu also announced the finalisation of the establishment of a Human Settlements Ombudsman to deal with issues between contractors, provinces and municipalities.

The Ombudsman will be Themba Mthethwa, who was previously CEO of the office of the Public Protector.

He will deal with complaints that the construction sector or general public have, and will aid in cutting through red tape.

Sisulu also said one of her priorities is to clear the title deeds backlog by the end of the current administration in 2019.

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The current backlog is around 760 000, of which about 628 000 were inherited by her department after the 2014 general elections.
The longer they wait, the more complicated the issue becomes, she said.

She announced in Parliament on Thursday that the department’s budget for 2017/18 will be R33.4bn.

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