Communal- and social housing must get a greater slice of future budgets of the Department of Human Settlements. In fact, the department needs to shift its core business away from building mass housing to a more broad-based and inclusive provincial housing programme.

With a current budget of R 2, 485 billion allocated to the Housing Development Programme (under which housing provision occurs), a mere R23 million is allocated to institutional housing and R 18,248 million for individual subsidies for this housing.

Cleary the budget for alternative housing in the province is grossly skewed. This needs to be changed.

Given the rural nature of the province and the work opportunities near our cities and larger towns, it is imperative that by addressing this need, greater employment opportunities will be created as rural people migrate to these centres.

Furthermore, in our far flung rural towns the impact of lack of adequate communal housing is again a problem and hinders economic development in these areas as citizens opt to migrate further away to larger centres.

Appropriating greater budget for communal and social/rental housing options gives citizens greater accommodation choice and dignified housing until they can better afford a housing subsidy to own their own home.

With communal and social housing consuming less than 5% of the programme budget this must be corrected if the province is to efficiently house our population in the short term.