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News & Press: 2014 News Items

Changes to housing subsidy, standards and norms announced

Monday, 03 February 2014  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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The Minister of Human Settlements, after consultation with the nine Members of the Executive   Councils   responsible   for   Human   Settlements/Housing   of  the   nine Provincial  Governments  and SALGA,  approved  the enhancement  of the National Norms and Standards for the Construction of Stand Alone Residential Dwellings and Engineering Services (Norms and Standards).  These enhancements to the Norms and Standards will take effect on 1 April 2014.
The enhanced Norms and Standards in respect of the dwellings are based on the requirements  of  the  2011  revised  National  Building  Regulations;  South  African National Standard  (SANS) 10400 XA- Energy Usage in Buildings.
In addition to the enhancements  to the Norms  and Standards, The Minister  also approved two new house typologies.  A special dwelling comprising 45 square metre of gross floor  area designed  to cater for the needs  of disabled persons  who are wheelchair  dependant  has  been  approved This new dwelling  provides  adequate internal space for wheelchair movement.  In line with the agreement reached with the Department of Military Veterans, a special dwelling comprising  50 square metre of gross  floor  area  with  higher  level  of finishing  has  been  approved  for delivery  to approved  military  veterans  subsidy  beneficiaries. This  approval is subject to the condition that the difference in the cost of the revised new subsidy financed house, available  to  households  earning  R0 to  R3  500  per  month  and  the  cost  of  the enhanced house for military veterans, is financed by the Department of Military Veterans.
To ensure that the new enhanced Norms and Standards are achieved, the Minister also approved the adjustment of the Housing Subsidy quantum with effect from 1 April 2014.   The new subsidy quantum is based on current market prices and includes escalation cost.  The details of the revised Norms and Standards are as follows:
The minimum standard 40 square metre subsidy house
The Norms and Standards for the minimum size 40 square metre house, to be delivered to qualifying beneficiaries earning RO  to R3 500 per month, have been adjusted by the addition of the following measures to improve the thermal performance of the dwellings:
  • The installation of a ceiling with the prescribed air gap for the entire dwelling;
  • The  installation of  above-ceiling insulation comprising a  130mm mineral fibreglass blanket for the entire house;
  • Plastering of all internal walls;
  • Rendering on external walls
  • Smaller size windows; and
  • Special low E clear and E opaque safety glass for all window types as prescribed;
In addition to the above enhancements, approval was also granted for the revision of the current Pre-paid Ready Board electrical installation.  These improvements entail a standard basic electrical installation comprising a pre-paid meter with a distribution board and lights and plugs to all living areas of the house.
The total cost of the new dwelling amounts to R110 947,00.   The detailed cost breakdown for the 40 square metre house is attached as Annexure A.
Certain other minor adjustments to the general specification of the dwelling were also effected and these are contained in the detailed Bill and Elementary Bill of Quantities for the dwelling, which will be forwarded to your office in electronic format via e-mail facility.
Internal municipal engineering services
In regard to internal municipal services, approval was granted that Provincial Human Settlement/Housing Departments and Municipalities may decide to install either A Grade or B  Grade levels of services as required by the development context of each project area.  Typically A Grade level of services will be required in new Greenfield developments where the Integrated Residential Development Programme is applied to finance the development of holistic, all inclusive and integrated township, providing access to the variety of housing, business and institutional land uses.  B Grade level of services will on the other hand be feasible in Informal Settlement upgrading areas, infill schemes in areas where such services are the norm etc.