The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police, Mr. Pokello Mahlomola says the National Housing Bill is informed by the recent housing and urban development technical tools developed by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship, Home Affairs and police.
Mr. Mahlomola said this when officially opening a workshop aimed at introducing the development of the National Housing Bill to key stakeholders.
Mr. Mahlomola said Lesotho like many developing countries, is experiencing rapid population growth, urbanisation and rural-urban migration, saying the rapid growth of the urban population continues to exert pressure on the limited infrastructure and the capacity to manage the environment.
He said these have resulted in the spread of slums settlements in the urban areas and encroachment on the sensitive ecosystems in the rural areas, noting that the Department of Housing is faced with the challenge of addressing these problems that arise from the influx of people from rural to urban areas.
Moreover, the Principal Secretary said the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) II Strategic Focus 2023/24- 2027/28 states that among its priorities is to increase low-income housing and develop infrastructure, saying the aim is to build new and expand the existing infrastructure that will help the productive sector to achieve their goal.
Mr. Mahlomola said to enforce and ensure the effective implementation of the framework and their strategic objectives, the legislation needs to be in place to govern and manage various public and private sectors, regulate building standards and encourage people to participate in the development of adequate housing.
He added that the National Housing Act will serve as the country’s main regulatory framework for housing development, noting that it will therefore support a coordinated institutional and administrative structure for housing when the bill is passed in Parliament, it will improve urban palling and development.
In conclusion, he said the Ministry intends to develop a pragmatic, practical responsive and scalable law that aims to enforce equal access to adequate housing hence the development of the National Housing Bill will be highly participatory and will involve a series of consultations.
Also speaking, the acting Director of Housing, Ms. Mamphaka Mabesa said the purpose of the workshop includes introducing the formulation of the National Housing Bill to key stakeholders for their engagement and beginning the law-making process together and ultimately having the National Housing Act.
She noted that the new law will enforce housing as a basic human right and be effectively implemented to address the gaps in adequate housing space, saying the workshop is also aimed to implement and establish how the strategic objectives of the Lesotho National Housing Policy of 2018 can be achieved.
She said the formulation of the National Housing bill is a Housing Initiative 2030 priority for the year 2023/24.
In conclusion, she noted that the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police has committed a budget towards the formulation of the National Housing bill and for that they are grateful for the support, saying the UN-Habitat has also pledged its technical assistance.
Present at the workshop included the Lesotho Housing and Land Development Corporation Managing Director, Mrs. Malesekele Matekane, representatives from the Lesotho Electricity Company, Maseru City Council (MCC), First National Bank (FNB), Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and public and private institutions.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.