MINUTES LOCAL GOVERNMENT SOCIAL HOUSING FORUM HELD ON THE 13 JULY 2006 AT THE EKURHULENI METROPOLITAN OFFICES, BENONI ________________________________________________________________________ List of Attendees: Frans Postma Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Aubrey Mokgosi Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Pamela Sekhonyana Johannesburg Metro Samantha Naidu Johannesburg Metro Adam Masonganye Mogale City Local Municipality Yunus Sacoor eThekwini Municipality Paul Babu Dayal eThekwini Municipality Gerrit Bothma City of Tshwane Matsepo Xaluva Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality Schalk Potgieter Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality Ronald Maguga SALGA Oupa Mareletse NHFC Odette Crofton Social Housing Foundation Danny Vengedasamy Social Housing Foundation Eugene Perumal (Ingenuity; by invitation) Lauren Royston (Development Works; by invitation) Apologies: Malcolm McCarthy City of Cape Town Dawn McCarthy Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Willem Theron City of Tshwane Vusi Radebe Mogale City Local Municipality Dr. Moremi SALGA Chairman: Aubrey Mokgosi Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 1. Welcome and introductions The chair asked all members and invited guests to introduce themselves and the organisations which they are representing. 2. Additions to the agenda. The chair asked members if there were any items that should be included on the agenda for later discussion. Dawn McCarthy requested that the land availability issue be included on the agenda as the availability of land for social housing was not particularly good and could not be made available at market value. The chair said that she would also like to give an update on the Social Housing Policy. Unfortunately, due to time constraints this item was not discussed. However, the chairperson mentioned that she would provide members with a written update. 3. Corrections to the minutes Page 2 item 7 on agenda should read; Ronald Maguga mentioned that for all technical issues raised and/or discussed at the forum a report will be written by himself and taken to the technical team at SALGA. For issues of a more political nature these will be raised at a higher level with the municipal working group and escalated to the executive committee. 4. Approval of the Minutes The minutes were accepted and approved with the one correction mentioned above. 5. Matters Arising The chair went through the matters arising and asked members to comment. The first item was an: 5.1 Update from SALGA Ronald Maguga reported that SALGA was planning to host a National Conference where experts on Social Housing will be invited to present as well as participate in the discussions. The themes for the conference will be around “The National Social Housing Policy” and “Capacity of Municipalities to set-up and implement the National Social Housing Policy” another potential theme could be around performance agreements. Ronald mentioned that he was hoping to get assistance from the forum on ideas for the conference as well as whom to invite and how to approach the discussions at the conference. Odette questioned when this conference will be taking place and reminded Ronald that there will be a number of conferences taking place and that he should be aware of these in his planning so as not to clash with these others. Ronald responded that he was looking from assistance from SHF and that he has already set-up a meeting with Timothy Tau from SHF to plan around, invitees, venues, logistics etc. Odette further requested that the themes for the conference should be both rental and social housing as many local authorities do not fall within the restructuring zones. The chairman requested that the forum members should advise SALGA if they were aware of any conferences taking place and inform Ronald so that he plans appropriately. Ronald further mentioned that SALGA was also planning to hold a LOGO SOUTH Workshop within the next two months. SALGA is planning to invite 13 municipalities in South Africa and thirteen from the Netherlands. The municipalities that will be invited will be the ones that have a framework agreement with the Netherlands. Some of the topics for discussion at this workshop will be: The need to develop standard performance agreements Conversion of Section 21 companies Setting-up of municipal entities Municipalities engaging with the Toolkit Interpretation of the act; MPFMA and PFMA Odette Crofton asked Ronald to flag these two acts as there were imminent amendments coming and that SALGA members should be aware of these when discussion arose at the workshop. Ronald gave an update on a number of planned Social Housing Policy Provincial Workshops which were as follows: 18 July 2006: Kimberley (Sol Plaatjie) Municipality in Northern Cape 31 July 2006: Bloemfontein (Mangaung) Municipality in Free State 8 September 2006: North West 25 July 2006: Mogale City 28 July 2006: Eastern Cape There will also be a number of individual workshops planned which will focus on individual municipalities. Odette Crofton and Arie Diephout from SHF will be consulted for additional information on the (new) social housing policy and restructuring zones. The chairman asked Ronald to report on inviting other municipalities to the forums. He mentioned that SALGA was to disseminate the minutes of the forum meetings to smaller municipalities. Ronald mentioned that he was not aware that he had to report-back at this meeting a nd said that he would report-back at the next meeting on the dissemination of minutes and the response from the smaller municipalities. Yunus Sacoor stated that he had quite serious meeting with stakeholders last month on the issue of social housing and delivery. He said that it was important to establish what is demand for social housing. He further mentioned that municipalities are stepping aside in their roles in assisting SHIs. He said that SALGA needs to step forward and support municipalities and entities to assist SHIs to deliver at scale. Ronald responded that SALGA has picked up that since the MFMA came into place everything else has come to a halt as no one wants to sign anything. He said that SALGA has identified this problem and will definitely bring these municipalities on board. Odette suggested to SALGA that the municipal entities that have these systems in place should use the forum to explain and share their experiences and successes with other forum members. SALGA should also look at other successful models such as the banks etc. Yunus mentioned that perhaps the SALGA conference should be used to address these issues. Ronald responded that he will put together a draft programme and circulate it to members for their comment. Gerrit Bothma said that he had a discussion with Land Bank and that they were looking at municipal entities to assist the financial institutions and that they were also looking at the municipal entities to assist with the Financial Services Charter. 5.2 Update on Public Housing Stock Information Odette mentioned that at the last local government forum meeting there was a presentation on Public Housing Stock. This presentation will be formatted and printed and will be made available to SALGA. SALGA will have to forward this publication to the municipalities. This publication will also be in electronic format and will be placed on the SHF website. This publication will also appear in next months issue of Housing Southern Africa. Odette further mentioned that the document on CRUs (Community Residential Units) is currently being finalized with the DoH and the first phase has already been approved by STRATMAN. She said that this topic will be discussed in more detail at the next forum meeting. Yunus stated that eThekwini has already developed a model for CRUs and will forward this to SHF as it will assist them with the CRU document. He further stated that problem with CRUs is the collection of rentals and that a company in Johannesburg has developed a coupon system which assists in collecting rentals. He said this was in a pilot phase and will be able to obtain more outcomes from the model within the next month or two. The chairman mentioned that Ekurhuleni also piloted a similar model and the recovery was excellent. It was initially 4% and had risen to above 90%. Yunus said that with CRUs it was impossible to continue sending letters stating that they are in debt. He said that the success was to get the community and local government involved in debt recovery and tenant eviction as this was effective tenant management. He further mentioned that this model will also be pioneered. Odette mentioned that she was currently working on a financial model and the guidelines for the CRUs. She will model the different elements one received from Yunus Sacoor and will report-back at the next meeting. 5.3 Update on Urban Development / Restructuring Zones Odette mentioned that issue was initially brought-up by the Nelson Mandela Municipality and gave an update on where it was which was as follows: Urban Development: The social housing policy has been approved The guidelines will be approved this month The pilot programme will kick into place The R110 million for the pilot programme has been decreased to R72 million as it is being used for the N2 project SPSH will be managing the process of the pilot programme NHFC will manage the job summit The social housing bill and regulators bill has been completed Bill will be passed parliament and cabinet to approve Restructuring Zones: Thirteen municipalities have been declared as restructuring zones SPSH and SHF is working with SALGA to assist municipalities to obtain provincial zone approval Members were requested to send their documentation for provincial zone approval to SHF, SPSH and or Julie Bhayat at NDoH It was critical for municipalities to have the restructuring zones in their IDPs Municipalities to talk to institutions in their areas to establish where their projects are so that they can identify of they fall within the restructuring zones Adam Masonganye wanted clarity on the restructuring zones and Odette explained and said that this was taken from the social housing policy. Yunus mentioned that most of the SHIs in KZN are battling to understand if they are within the restructuring zones. Odette responded that eThekwini was the first province to be declared as a restructuring zone. Mangaung was the second and the third was Nelson Mandela Metropolitan. She further said that it was not the SHI that declares the zone and that it needs to be supported by the province. Samantha Naidu wanted to know how the guidelines will be supporting the City of Johannesburg in identifying restructuring zones. Odette responded that the guidelines will assist in identifying zones, getting it supported by the province and outline the zone management. This is what do you do once the zones have been formalized. To speed-up the process we are looking at provincial zones only. Eugene Perumal stated that certain funding was allocated for social housing only and wanted to know if municipalities made separate presentations to the panel or the province. Schalk Potgieter reported that the sustainable community planning guideline document has been completed and will be in its testing phase over the next four months. He said that members were welcome to take the guideline document and use it as a pilot. He further said that he would welcome any comment members may have on the document. Odette requested the document in PDF format and said that we will place it on the SHF website. SALGA was also requested to circulate it to all the municipalities. 5.4 Densification Policy Ms. Alida Koetzee (Director; Policy & Planning) from the Ekurhuleni Metro gave a presentation and said that Ekuruhuleni created high density subsidy housing with the aim to support sustainable human settlements. The idea was to bring people closer to nodes with various types of transport. She said that this programme was first discussed with other departments to establish if they will open-up their rail links within the nodes. Another reason why this was done was to make the city work and give people access to mobility. 6. Tenure Options Odette mentioned that at the last meeting a number of questions were raised around tenure, land, identification and preparation. She had thus invited Ms. Lauren Royston from Development Works to do a presentation on Land Tenure. 6.1. The first part of the presentation was titled Setting the Scene: Tenure Concepts. (See presentation) The presentation focused on four basic concepts which were: Tenure form Land management Tenure security Tenure arrangements The second part of the presentation was titled Tenure Options. (See presentation) This section of the presentation covered the following: Cross-cutting issues The social housing options Issues for municipalities 6.2. Mr. Eugene Perumal from Ingenuity was also invited by the forum to do a presentation on Land Tenure. Mr. Perumals presentation was titled Alternative Housing Tenure Forms (See presentation). This section of the presentation covered the following: Retaining stock Demolition Packaging for transfer Sectional title Recommendations to members Challenges 7. Tenure Options Discussions Samantha enquired as to what were real rights and personal rights and what the role of the municipalities was especially when they are not involved in the relationship between landlord and tenant. The response from Lauren was that you have to allow for some recourse from an outside body and that not a lot can be done. Odette added that a lot of tenants were not organized into tenant bodies and that this may be a solution to balance the landlord/tenant relationship. Gerrit further added that owners and occupants in social housing should be a lot more involved. Lauren again responded that it was important to establish between group ownership and occupancy. She said this was in the way that group ownership is set-up and decision- making should be controlled by owners and that decision-making means authority more than just participation. Ronald responded to Samantha’s earlier question and said that the role of tribunal boards is to protect the rights between tenants and landlords and those municipalities has to provide officers to inform tenants of their rights. The chair mentioned that this information has come at the right time and will be used to inform his council. Schalk mentioned that land management was a serious issue and should be discussed at the next forum. Odette said that obtaining land, packaging land and managing the land was important and more importantly was how you get the implementation going. She further said that Partners for Housing was looking at the land management process and the issues of packaging the land. She requested that the next forum be held in Tshwane as they had gone through a land management process and that they could add great value. The chairman stated that the forum now have the information (which was presented) on land tenure options and that members should take the information and start implementing it. Gerrit enquired from Eugene if had any suggestions as to how to do this. Eugene responded that it was important to look at each metro that is starting a municipal entity where all stock is placed within the entity. Secondly, look at all the options available and see which one is best suited to pursue. Lauren commented that it was critical for municipalities to adopt a holistic approach in looking at all the options and consider all the partners outside the municipalities. She cited an example of the City of Johannesburg not evicting people but segmenting the market and looking at various options on housing the poor. Gerrit asked how municipalities would finance through municipal entity renovations on work that will be done. Eugene responded that there was provision in the budget for maintenance and that in future municipalities needed to look at loan finance to upgrade. They should not place a burden on the municipal entity to succeed. Municipalities could raise loans and bridge finance much better than anyone else. Stock should be upgraded first before it is passed on and thereafter municipalities can look at privatizing. There will be a period that government will be the landlord, thereafter it should be put back into the market. He cited an example of the people in Eldorado Park who stated that they will not pay rental because they are unemployed. The idea would be that these people be employed in the programme. Odette mentioned that SALGA has worked on the land sale moratorium and Ronald was to establish this and advise members at the next forum meeting. Samantha mentioned that there were rumours that provinces were not intending to support social housing. She wanted to know what the implications were for municipalities who had programmes in place for this. The chairman mentioned that he had been informed that GPF will be the new institution that will be managing all the subsidies. Odette said that the SHF has not been informed about this and will be talking to the provinces to establish why they are loosing interest. Eugene mentioned that the GPF was set-up primarily as a once-off project to get capital injection into the market and are currently not in a position to carry on doing this. 8. Conclusions The chairman closed the discussions with the following remarks. He said that there was a lot of information provided through the presentations and discussions and there were many options that have been made available. He requested members to look at the options that best suit the environment of the municipalities and advise municipalities which options they can use. 9. General Odette advised members that she had received a set of performance agreements from the DPLG and that if members required it could be mailed to them. Members should interest and these will be e-mailed in due course. The Chairman mentioned that it was important to reflect on the achievements and milestones of the forum (since its inception). He said that there was a lot of work that was done and achieved and that municipalities needed to know about. These achievements. He suggested that these be packaged and presented at the SALGA conference in October. 10. Closure There being no further business the meeting adjourned at approximately 14h20 11. Date of next meeting Members of the forum will be notified of the date for the next meeting.