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Imagine if all South Africans lived in decent homes with all the basic services they needed, closer to their workplaces, and with easy access to safe public transport.

That is essentially what sustainable human settlement development looks like – and it’s what South Africa is aiming to achieve by 2030, through its National Development Plan.

The country’s vision for better living and working conditions for all, particularly the urban and rural poor, is shared by Nelson Mandela University, which on Friday (20 April) celebrated its very first graduates in its pioneering Bachelor of Human Settlement Development programme.

Wayne Draai, Head of the Department of Building and Human Settlement Development in the university’s Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBEIT), said: “This course is special as it looks into the various aspects pertaining to eradicating the backlog our country finds itself in, with regards to people without homes and other amenities. The course not only looks at housing but also at the broader issues surrounding human settlements, including economic matters.”

He said the seven new graduates were equipped to apply what they had learnt in their respective places of employment, whether they find themselves in the three tiers of government – namely, local, provincial and national government – or in the various housing agencies throughout the country.

“The graduates we produce will benefit South Africa greatly, as they have a solid understanding of the human settlement needs that need to be addressed in this country.”

Draai said the course – which started in 2014 and was the brainchild of the late Prof Kobus van Wyk and the then Department of Housing – looked at a number of aspects pertaining to human settlements, including the basic elements involved in the construction of homes, the planning and design of settlements, and how best to plan around the national grids for essential services, including electricity, sewerage, water, storm water and roads.

The course also delves into the legal aspects around human settlements, along with public administration, and various other elements. 

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777