Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has acknowledged the significant role the banking sector has played in financing mega and catalytic projects including Cosmo City and Fleurhof in Gauteng Province.

“We have travelled a long journey with the banking sector; together we have restored the dignity of our people through the provision of decent shelter. Private sector involvement and funding have an important contribution to make in housing South Africa and supporting asset ownership,” Sisulu said on Thursday.

Sisulu held a working meeting with the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) to review the partnership that started in 2005 while identifying further areas of partnerships over the next few years.

The meeting focussed mainly on how banking institutions can assist the government to achieve its mandate of providing affordable housing by unlocking access to housing finance for low-to-medium income earners and first-time buyers through the Financed Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP).

The meeting also discussed consumer education campaigns aimed at empowering homeowners to look after and improve their properties, and support for those who are facing challenges in servicing their bonds and contractors who are currently unable to repay their loans.

“I am calling on all those who are facing difficulties to service their mortgages and construction companies which are struggling to service their loans to make arrangements with their banking institutions. BASA has on behalf of banking institutions committed to do everything they can to assist those in financial distress,” said Sisulu.

The Minister and BASA also agreed that they will soon convene a lekgotla to finalise a programme of action.

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