Free State Government holds the Govan Mbeki Awards 2016

Acting MEC Sam Mashinini for the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in the Free State/Mark Steenbok

The Govan Mbeki Awards are annually held by the Government to celebrate the life of Govan Mbeki who made an enormous contribution to the fight for liberation, for equality and for decent human settlements.

The Awards were named after Mbeki in 2006, a decision based on the role he played in human settlements, entering into partnership with key stakeholders to further the cause of building the nation free of inequity.

The Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) says the awards seek to showcase excellent work done by the department with special emphasis on its key activities to achieve Outcome 8. The awards further promote best practice; create a healthy competition among contractors while improving delivery.

The awards will be taking place on Thursday night in Bloemfontein. Cogta states the awards are meant to motivate all stakeholders in the human settlements space to accelerate delivery. “Through these events, we also highlight the improved lives of millions of our people, sustainable livelihoods, job opportunities, quality housing opportunities with secure tenure, and access to water and sanitation, as well as other services,” says departmental spokesperson, Senne Bogatsu.

She also mentions that the awards seeks to honour roleplayers in the housing value chain, including developers, contractors, the banking sector, community-based organisations, the mining sector, building material suppliers, professional associations that have committed to partner with government in building sustainable human settlements and making Outcome 8 and Vision 2030 a prospective reality.

This year 7 categories will be contested. Almost R660 000 in cash will be shared by the winners. Contested categories are:


The programme focuses on the upgrading of informal settlements providing infrastructure, services, amenities and houses for complete habitable and decent human settlements in order to address alleviation of informal settlements that deny our people a decent life.


These are units for rental by low-income earners and mainly for those who do not wish to own homes for various reasons or cannot afford to own homes. Masimong 4, Zamdela 4, and Merriespruit CRUs are our current rental homes in this programme with Dark and Silver City in Bloemfontein currently in construction.

Zamdela 4 Community Residential Units, Sasolburg


These are houses built in rural areas ensuring that rural communities also benefit from government programmes. The programme only applies in rural areas where there is communal tenure and requires that tenure rights first be confirmed through the processes prescribed by the Minister of Rural Development of Land Reform.

Communities in QwaQwa, Makholokoeng, and Thaba Nchu have benefitted from these programmes.


At the core, this category focuses on the government’s goal of development of women in the housing construction industry. They are awarded 30% of the budget for the Housing Grant.

This category also recognises woman contractors who have played a significant role in the residential market and made an impact in the community concerned in a quest to build sustainable human settlements.

As an example, Mono Construction, a woman-owned Construction Company, recently explored using alternative building technology in the construction of a house in Parys. The house was donated to a family that now lives in a warm, beautiful and well-designed home. This house is built of custom made concrete slabs versus bricks. The method bodes well for the faster provision of quality houses.


The government provides the Institutional Subsidy as part of its Housing Subsidy Scheme. The target market is people earning below R3500 per month. Tenants have the option to buy, but only after the unit has been in rental for minimum 4 years. It offers a variety of tenure forms, excluding immediate individual ownership.

Bokahosane ba bana in Gelukwaarts, Kroonstad, for abandoned and abused children, has made a difference in the lives of these children who were taken in and given a home.


This programme provides for the acquisition of land, servicing of stands for a variety of land uses including commercial, recreational, schools and clinics, as well as residential stands for low, middle and high-income groups.

The best Integrated Residential Development Programme seeks to address government’s integrated approach to human settlements development and to address other key social issues like mixed housing, development of infrastructure simultaneously as we plan and build housing units etc.


The programme addresses a wide variety of housing needs of people working and residing on farms by providing a flexible package of housing models to suit the local context. In most instances, the programme will be applied where the farm residents are required to reside close to their place of employment.


Winners from the provincial leg of the competition will compete at national level against winners from 8 other provinces. The national awards will be held in November 2016.

Statement Issued by the Communication Unit of the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements, and Traditional Affairs