Evaluating the impact of rural housing projects in Nongoma local municipality.
Sithole, Mduduzi Emmanuel.
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Introduction This research set out to examine the identified factors that interrupt the delivery of houses to the community of Nongoma. The study was also consummated to evaluate the challenges of rural housing projects with a view to make recommendations to Nongoma Local Municipality and other stakeholders involved in the housing project. Methodology A questionnaire was distributed to participants in different categories of staff and three tribal authorities i.e. KwaMandlakazi, Osuthu and Ematheni. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), Version 24 was used to analyse results. Data was inputted into the SPSS package and generated various statistical findings in the form of visual displays like pie charts, tables and histograms containing frequencies, the mean, standard deviation and skewness. The data from SPSS was then analysed to determine the centrality of responses and pattern of responses in order to make inferences per question. The SPSS package also generated the Cronbach Alpha statistic which determined a higher level of reliability of the findings above 0.7. Results Findings showed that financial constraints, poor communication between departments tasked with housing delivery, lack of implementation monitoring mechanisms by the Department of Human Settlements are among some of the factors interrupting rural housing delivery under Nongoma Local Municipality. However, the research further revealed that rural housing projects impacted positively on job creation, alleviation of poverty related to shortage of accommodation, living standards of the people, infrastructural development, rural electrification, clean water and protection of rural people from the adverse weather conditions and the environment. Discussion There is convergence of findings between primary findings on factors interrupting housing delivery and scholarly views. Various scholars identified different challenges affecting housing delivery by governments. Mnisi (2011) cited topographical challenges, Burgoyne (2012) identified financial constraints, and Abubakar (2014) identified poor communication and Defra (20014b), who pointed out that most housing construction projects are burdened with the challenge of a lack of teamwork across all the functions leading to slackened progress. Hodgson and Gwagwa (2013)’s assertions that poor monitoring of project staff and progress is a key challenge affecting delivery of housing projects was also confirmed as a challenge by the respondents. The findings on the challenges of rural housing in Nongoma Municipality resonated with scholarly assertions by Ray (2010) who cited employment creation, Hopkins (2014), poverty reduction, and der Ploeg et al. (2015), improvements in material condition, social and psychological well-being, Hemson et al. (2014) infrastructural development, and Mnisi (2013), provision of clean water and well-constructed good sanitation facilities. Research recommendations included lobbying for more funding from the central government and other donor agencies in order to overcome the challenge associated with financial challenges, establishment of cross-functional teams that harness the expertise of people from various departments, strict monitoring and supervision and establishment of clear project completion deadlines.