DA REQUESTS MEC’S INTERVENTION TO PREVENT HOUSING EVICTIONS IN PORT ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP

Impoverished housing beneficiaries in the Port Elizabeth township of Motherwell are being threatened with eviction from the homes where they have been living for over 20 years because they have been trapped in a vicious circle of poverty.

It is inhumane to give a person a home only to take it away again. These people were never properly informed about the procedures and time frames for capital repayments. In one case Mr. TG Saul was given a bond in 1989 for R25 000. This included insurance on the loan account from Khayalethu Home Loans, involving further interest payments to the extent that his bond account with accrued and paid interest amounted to R82 296 in February 2007.

A house is a leg up to increased prosperity and opportunity.

The liquidity of a house can be used to finance education, start a business, better ones self or improve a property value.

To have families affected by circumstance, unemployment, maladministration and possible corruption is not in line with the national vision of jobs for all, secure tenure and opportunity.

I have today written to both the MEC for Housing, Helen August-Sauls and the HOD, Gaster Sharpley, asking them to intervene and assist in providing relief for these affected residents.

The affected beneficiaries are from Motherwell areas NU1,NU3,NU4b,NU6b, NU7 and NU8.

In 1988 these beneficiaries qualified for bonds and subsidies to purchase houses ranging in price from R11 000 to R29 000.

The qualifying criterion was that a person earned R1 500 and less per month.

The scheme assisted the beneficiaries by allowing them fixed payments and paying a five percent deposit.

As a result of various factors including apartheid rent boycotts, the changing of the funders from one operator to another and unfulfilled promises the loan amounts on these bonds are increasing. In some cases where the bond amount is R 29 000 a greater amount is now payable as a result of escalating interest charges.

In many cases these beneficiaries have lost their jobs and have defaulted on their payments.

Appeals to the housing department of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and the former MEC of Housing in the province have been fruitless. They have been pulled from pillar to post and the threat of eviction remains a reality.

The DA’s housing policy aims to address the need for adequate shelter by putting in people’s hands the tools, knowledge and resources they need to take care of their own needs and meet their own priorities, with the assistance rather than the instruction of the state.

Our objective is to empower people and communities to make key decisions on housing for themselves, with the state providing financing and back-up support for the very poor.

It is vital that the MEC comes to the party and assists these folk to prevent them from being evicted from their houses through no fault of their own.