The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements is not being truthful about housing fraud figures in the province.

According to a reply to a parliamentary question I asked, only one contractor has been suspended for housing fraud during the 2009-2011 Medium Term Expenditure Framework period.

For the reply click here:

housing fraud reply

How is such an answer possible?  If this is the case the department is either protecting fraudsters or is not taking action against offenders.

The answer also reveals that only seven contractors were suspended for non- performance and no contractors were suspended for shoddy workmanship.  It is stated that one contractor absconded from site during this period.

These answers cannot be correct.

How often have the public not been victims of cases housing fraud involving shady contractors?

The cases of contractors committing fraud and being paid for work not completed are numerous.  For example, the housing project in Tarkastad where a couple of hundred houses are half completed (and now vandalised); the R1-billion Zanemvula project which is yet to deliver the promised 15 000 houses to families removed from flood plain areas in Nelson Mandela Bay; the Govan Mbeki township project in Dutywa where 700 vandalised toilets are standing in the veld; in the Ikwesi Municipality there have been a number of cases where two RDP houses were built on the same erf.

The litany of housing cases in the province involving fraud, blocked projects, shoddy workmanship and the like are too numerous to mention.

The fact that the rectification of hundreds of RDP houses in the province has been seconded to the national department because of insufficient capacity in the province shows that the information given is nonsense figures.

I have today written to the MEC for Human Settlements, Helen Sauls-August, asking her to investigate these answers and to report back to the legislature with correct answers.

It is of concern that it appears the MEC is accepting answers and presenting them in the legislature without checking with her officials.  This is serious, because the MEC is misleading the legislature.

The MEC must come clean!

The MEC needs to apologise to the public and give us the true facts and figures about housing fraud in the province.

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