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By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

Gauteng funding for township backrooms launched

The Kasi4Real programme was launched in Soweto on Friday.

Your township backyard could be your key to riches—that’s if you’re a Gauteng resident with plenty of space.

Gauteng’s Department of Housing Settlements launched the Kasi4Real programme in Soweto on Friday.

Launched in collaboration with the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF), the project aims to provide funding to eligible township-based property owners towards the construction of rental accommodation in their backyards.

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Formalising backrooms

While backrooms have always been sustainable income streams for many families, they’re typically considered a side hustle than a business.

Kasi4Real is geared towards formalising backyard developments and addressing housing shortages in the province.

“The aim of the programme seeks to address housing shortages and formalise backyard developments in the townships by directly funding potential township developers for residential township developments,” said Lindiwe Kwele, GPF CEO.

Kwele also said that recipients of the funding would have to partake in a training and development programme provided by the GPF.

This is to ensure that township property developers are sufficiently equipped to run and manage their backroom businesses.

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Who’s eligible?

Speaking at the launch, Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile, said residents with adequate space in their yard to build a minimum of four bachelor units may apply.

Maile laid out the criteria potential applicants must meet to qualify.

  • Be a resident of any township within Gauteng’s jurisdiction.
  • Title deed must be in your name.
  • Must have full ownership of the property.
  • Applicants who will be able to contribute a minimum of approximately 5% of equity, depending on project cash flows

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Property owners with spacious backyards could make the most of the funding by developing long-term businesses to sustain their families.

GPF will provide an investment of at least 97% for each backyard development to enable potential township property developers.

When it comes to the application process, eligible candidates will have to provide some important documents.

  • Business plan;
  • Company registration documents (the registered property owner must be a shareholder in the entity applying);
  • Cost estimates of the project;
  • Approved building plans.

“The developments will be delivered conventionally (bricks and mortar) or unconventionally, utilising alternate materials or prefabricated units that will be assembled on site,” Kwele said.

Meanwhile, township-based contractors and suppliers of building materials also stand to benefit from the programme since funded individuals will be required to source them locally.

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