During an oversight visit to Nelson Mandela Bay this week, I discovered that a mere 35 RDP houses were built by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Human Settlements department in the month of July.
This is woefully short of the more than 200 houses a month required to reach its target of 2 779 houses by the end this financial year.
The disgracefully slow pace of housing delivery and the unfair allocation of houses has now created factions in poor communities and turned once peaceful neighbourhoods into battlefields.
It is clear that this Human Settlements department is intent on closing the door on opportunities for countless deserving families.
Under the ANC’s leadership the department has become fertile ground for the corrupt activities of greedy and self-serving officials and politicians.
The following critical issues require urgent attention in order to improve delivery:
- There is serious tension and animosity amongst senior provincial housing officials and Nelson Mandela Bay housing officials.
- Allegations by provincial officials that irregular building specifications are rife and policies are not followed or improperly implemented.
- Project management by NMBM is weak resulting in slow beneficiary administration and it is riddled with corruption from ward level politicians to senior officials.
- Some contractors lack capacity to deliver quality houses and they are greedy for money and delivery a bad quality end product just to get the next contract.
- In areas such as Missionvale houses have been built on low water-lying and waterlogged areas; this means that no EIA (Environmental Impact Assessments) have been followed.
When elected in 2016 the DA will prioritise housing delivery by dealing with the backlog in the allocation of title deeds and ensuring an open and transparent housing allocation process. The DA will employ the right people for the job to ensure delivery is accelerated and the quality of the houses is improved.
The DA believes that housing is an important tool to redress the inequalities of the past while expanding opportunities through title deeds.
A house and a title deed will give the people of Nelson Mandela Bay the real freedom they deserve. — Kobus Botha MPL, DA Shadow MEC for Human Settlements