SA Affordable Housing July - August 2019 // Issue: 77 | Page 4

EDITOR’S COLUMN Affordable housing dominates the spotlight T he affordable housing sector is standing front and centre in the spotlight. Many people may not grasp the magnitude of it yet, but as the major driver in the country’s construction space, affordable structures now account for close to 75% of the sector’s current activity. While mass infrastructure projects and commercial developments have taken a back seat, we have recently seen the last of the big five construction companies go into liquidation, and these latest casualties underpin the dire state that the general construction sector is in; many industry leaders have even approached government for intervention. Fortunately, there is always a hero, and in this case the affordable housing sector is just that as it addresses the housing backlog of between 2.1 and 2.5 million houses (depending on who you speak to). The opportunity to be involved in the supply of services on such a level is of course very appealing and is currently gaining traction, not only for new developments but for inner-city re- development projects too, as companies push to get their hands on a piece of the affordable pie. The good news is that as the high volume of units currently needed, even if there were 250 building companies dedicated solely to feeding the need, a conservative estimate is that each of these companies would need to produce more than 8 500 units each. This is a massive source for job creation in South Africa too, but finance is the bottleneck as producing 8 500 homes will cost in excess of R2-billion. Although the affordable housing market is sometimes seen as an industry where there are many questions, the sector is gaining traction at a rapid rate and on many levels. Long gone (for me anyhow) is the situation when you have a conversation with businesspeople, and they have no clue what the affordable housing market is about (or they mistakenly talk about ‘RDP’ housing). With the exception of the pricing parameters that vary between institutions, in general terms there is great awareness around the impact the sector will have going forward, and more so as many more people move into our cities to pursue economic opportunities. Now with such an important and valuable role in South Africa, the affordable housing sector will shine on every level from conventional to alternative building methods and everything in between. In this issue, we feature the Sky City development of Cosmopolitan projects on page 24 and one of our features looks at working at heights on page 16. Gas water heating as a solution is on page 14 and for town planning and infrastructure turn to page 12. A look at sector finance is found on page 32 and our legal matters column this issue looks at the Housing Act and state subsidies (page 34). Our profile features a 30-year construction veteran, Hennie Badenhorst. We also start a new section in this issue called Plumbing Junction where we showcase the importance of compliance and ensuring the security of our precious resource – water, which is championed by the Institute of Plumbing SA (IOPSA). As a brand, SA Affordable Housing plans to walk this journey with all industry stakeholders as the sole dedicated voice of the industry; we would love to hear from you, whether positive or negative – all your suggestions are valuable to us. I hope you enjoy this issue; if you would like to contribute any news, views or information to our features or projects, get in touch with us at: Tel: +27 (0) 11 579 4940 Email: [email protected] [email protected] Visit our social media at: @SAAffordHousing @saaffordablehousingmag @SA Affordable Housing Ben SEND US YOUR NEWS, EVENTS OR PROJECTS EMAIL: [email protected] | CALL: +27 (0) 11 579 4940 2 JULY - AUGUST 2019