Building adequate housing for all
The right to adequate housing as one of the most important of all basic human rights is recognised in a number of international human rights instruments and treaties. Shelter from the elements; a place to eat, sleep, relax and raise a family is one of the basic things people need for survival.
Section 26(1) of the Constitution provides that everyone shall have the right of access to adequate housing. Accessibility means that the State must create conducive conditions for all its citizens, irrespective of their economic status, to access affordable housing. The right to have access to adequate housing entails more than bricks and mortar. It requires available land, appropriate services such as the provision of potable water, the removal of sewage, the financing of all of these, and including the building of the house itself. For a person to have access to adequate housing all of these conditions need to be met: there must be land, there must be services, and there must be a dwelling. The right of access to adequate housing also suggests that it is not only the State that is responsible for the provision of houses, but that other agents within society, including individuals themselves, must be enabled by legislative, and other measures, to provide housing.
This point is further emphasised by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which stipulates the following conditions, as being necessary for a meaningful enjoyment of the right to housing:
• Legal security of tenure
• Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure
• Cultural adequacy
ETL (PTY) Ltd. is part of the team helping to deliver on the Government’s promises. ETL was appointed as Professional and Technical Service Provider for the Turnkey Development of the Nombamba Rural Housing Project in the Ulundi Municipality. Our mandate is to deliver 1,000 low cost houses as part of the bigger plan of the Municipality, in order to address the housing backlog in the region.
ETL is presently proceeding with the work for Stage 1 of the project, which encompasses the following:
• Confirmation of the Beneficiary List
• A Geo- technical Investigation
• Land Surveying and a Contour Survey
• Environmental Assessment
• Social Facilitation
• Town Planning
• Project Management, and
• Civil Engineering Services
ETL, as the appointed professionals, will make sure that the Norms and Standards are adhered to and that the houses are built in accordance with the principles embodied in Act No. 12 of 1998: Kwazulu - Natal Housing Act, 1998. The buildings and their services will comply with the requirements of the NBR and the relevant SABS codes of practice.
This is but one of the projects ETL is engaged in with regard to Service Delivery. ETL is looking forward to partnering with Local and National Authorities on the delivery of similar projects in the near future.