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Government is clearly putting its money where its mouth is in its bid to prioritise the provision of adequate housing for the poor. The 2017/2018 budget for human settlements and municipal infrastructure has increased by nearly 9% to R195.8bn, which is ahead of budget increases in other key government expenditure areas such as basic education, health and social grants. Finance minister Pravin Gordhan said the urgent need for urban reform to overcome apartheid’s spatial legacy will necessitate continued growth in the human settlements and municipal infrastructure budget, by 8%/year over the next three years. Spending will focus on housing, public transport and improving access to water, sanitation and electricity. To promote affordable medium-density rental housing, treasury has allocated R3.2bn to lower-income housing projects, which is expected to deliver 55,171 social housing units over the next three years. By 2019/2020, government will also provide an additional 623,635 househol...

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