The housing dilemma all over Africa is one that continues to be a concern for everyone. Large portions of the African population are deprived of the basic need of suitable quality shelter. This is a problem that governments have been hard-pressed to solve due to the variety of logistical problems involved in the provision of bulk housing construction.
People are getting shelter over their heads
By building government building projects that are complete living environments using fast build construction systems, government is now providing fast, affordable housing, as well as developing the infrastructure to support it. This makes sense seeing that statistics released from environmental programmes show that the population increase over a twenty year period is enormous and alarming with vast numbers of families without these very basic human needs.
Many African governments have made the investment of providing government housing projects for their people, but unfortunately in the rush to provide for a demanding populace and satisfy international pressure, little consideration has been given to the future growth and development potential of the bulk housing townships. This has resulted in townships remote from employment opportunities with inadequate road and transport links. Many residents just move away leaving a major problem requiring additional investment and time to resolve.
It is essential to be based around the major cities
African governments are realising that major cities are the magnet for employment opportunities and they are also realising that the way forwards is to accept this scenario and plan round it. This must be done by suburbanising the cities in a planned and structured manner that provides housing, employment opportunities and transport access to the city facilities that are necessary for the people living in government housing projects. This has been done with high levels of planning to ensure the concept is sound and can be correctly developed.
The village living environment must be divided into areas necessary to support the resident population. This must include industrial and commercial businesses to provide employment. Areas need to be set aside for shops, schools, clinics, religious facilities, recreation and municipal services. Road and transport links, adequate water, power and sewage services are vital for the success of the village environment. With good integrated services, the best way forward is to expand the cities and towns outward with self sustaining village living environments adequately connected as suburbs to the city or town. The village environment should have access to sanitation, security of tenure and housing in a permanent and adequate structure in
Village environments are springing up around major cities and in South Africa, the government is spending millions as part of its sewer infrastructure upgrade and expansion programme on bulk waste water and sewer networks. They have rolled out thousands of public lights around some of the major cities in the housing projects and improving on service delivery in the area. Properly built roads, streets lights and sanitation are some of the successes.
Full of hope and promise
Although the possibility of escaping poverty seems untenable, the people of South African government housing projects are neither inert nor in despair. Most of them supplement their livelihoods through informal trading. Some have cultivated land on the roadsides and are growing an assortment of crops; some charge a meagre fee to paint murals on private walls for brand promotion while others plait hair. The people of some of these compact communities remain exuberant and resilient as they are realising that progress has already come their way in the government housing projects and they look forward to even more advances.