Lindiwe Sisulu right to prioritise elderly for housing - IRR

Frans Cronje says govt's fiscal situation makes continued free provision of services difficult

The IRR strongly supports the view of the Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, that free housing should only be directed at the elderly and the indigent and that young people should be required to work to provide their own housing.

The IRR's CEO, Dr Frans Cronje, said: "The government's housing delivery programme had been one of its most successful policy initiatives of the past twenty years. The proportion of households living in a formal house has increased from 64% in 1994 to almost 80% today even as the absolute number of households has increased by just under 60%. An incredible number is that for every shack newly erected after 1994, more than ten formal houses have been built by government and the private sector".

However, Dr Cronje went on: "A point has been reached where the fiscal constraints on the government make the continued free provision of such services difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. In addition the government is rightly concerned about the high degree of dependency that its service delivery and welfare programmes have generated among young people".

"Ms Sisulu is correct in saying that young people must work to improve their own standards of living and cannot remain dependent on the State forever. But almost 50% of young people are unemployed and very many are poorly skilled. To help them climb the economic ladder, they need good schooling, sound tertiary education, and easier access to the labour market, along with a major shift in government policy from redistribution to economic growth."

Statement issued by Dr Frans Cronje, CEO of the Institute for Race Relations, October 30 2014

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