The provincial Department of Human Settlements does not know how many informal settlements there are in the Eastern Cape.
In reply to a question for written reply in the Eastern Cape Legislature, the MEC for Human Settlements, Helen Sauls-August, concedes that her department has had to hire researchers to determine how many informal settlements there are in the province. The reply can be seen here:
This is a massive problem. The province needs to keep track of where informal settlements are, and how bad the backlogs are in these areas. This is necessary to budget for development and keep track of progress being made.
It is disgraceful that, after 20 years of ANC government in the Eastern Cape, the provincial government still does not know where the informal settlements are and how many of them there are. This is surely the first thing that needed to happen to plot a development plan for the province.
The harsh reality is that ordinary people are suffering due to massive development backlogs. Unfortunately, the provincial government hasn’t even begun to address the need for a proper development plan.
The only way to make life better is to properly identify the challenges and then systematically address challenges, step by step and in a measurable and quantifiable way. Figuring out where our informal settlements are and how many of them there are is step one in this process.
We will push for the immediate completion of this count. We need to get to the point where we stop analysing problems, and start finding solutions.