South Africa has a large housing backlog. To resolve this problem the National Department of housing came up with the concept of sustainable human settlement that guides the provision of houses. To date the municipality, in collaboration with the Department of Housing, has approved six housing projects consisting of 4 840 units. Three of these projects (Amangcolosi, Mambedu, and Nodunga) are currently in the construction phase and are due for completion.
The other three housing projects (Zubane, Hlongwa, Cele) are still at a planning stage, with the Mkhonto project currently blocked until the appointment of a new service provider. A challenge still remains in ensuring that these and other future housing projects are located within the activity nodes and corridors as identified within the Spatial Development Framework. The aim is to direct all government and private sector investments in one area. The community of Maphumulo has emphasized the need for the municipality to provide the rental houses for the middle income residents. In response to the community’s needs the municipality will explore the possibilities of providing such houses in the town of Maphumulo.
One of the challenges with regard to housing construction within the area is the difficulty in balancing provision to address the housing need and obligation to develop local small businesses through projects. The municipality has experienced challenges in getting quality and efficient from some of the contractors that have been roped into undertake some of the project work to promote local economic development and build skills. This also emphasises the need for government to invest in training for local contractors to participate in housing projects and be able to improve their CIDB ratings.