Schedule 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, read together with Section 9 of the Housing Act, 107 of 1997, places the housing competency on both the Provincial Administration (co-ordinated by the Provincial Department of Human Settlements) as well as the Local Municipalities. However, the Chris Hani District Municipality, as adhering to the responsibilities as stipulated in the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998, has taken the position to co-ordinate, support and guide the process of housing development within the district area. To further enhance the responsibilities charged against the CHDM, in 2011, the Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements granted the CHDM the status of being a developer for the replacement of temporal housing structures with the construction of permanent houses within the district area as a whole.
CHDM has embarked on the process of assisting Local Co-operative clay brick makers in the district in partnership with the Chris Hani Cooperative Development Center with the aim of getting an accredited clay brick that can be used to construct housing projects within the district. The programme has been piloted at Inkwanca Local Municipality and thereafter it will be rollout to other LMs. The service provider Cermalab was appointed through CDC to train cooperatives at Molteno with 14 Members (12 Females, 2 Males and None Youth Members) and Sterkstroom Site with 15 Members (6 Females, 9 Males and None youth members).
The Bricks produced during training at Sterkstroom met the required strength of 4MPA and the bricks produced at Molteno did not meet the required strength however the service provider is still on site trying to get the required strength for that site. The main challenge identified at molten was that their soil has shale which makes it difficult to be ground to make fine aggregates. Hammer mill has been procured to grind the shale with the hope that positive results will be acquired at Molten. As part of the programme CHDM has established both sites for Molteno and Sterkstroom. 4 brick production machinery have been purchased; 1 hammer mill has been purchased; 50 x50m fencing is under erection; 12 x 6m steel sheds have been constructed. CHDM has provided coops with protecting working clothing, rain water tanks etc.