Stalled projects depriving beneficiaries of decent housing

Issued by Sanele Magaqa, MPL
Shadow MEC for Human Settlements

Stalled housing developments across the province are depriving beneficiaries of decent housing. Many beneficiaries have been forced to live in shacks, while the half-built structures promised to them get vandalised, their dreams of a better life stripped away, brick by brick.

I am challenging the Human Settlements MEC, Nonceba Kontsiwe, to conduct a full audit of stalled projects across the project, so that interventions can be made.

The Democratic Alliance knows of at least 25 projects across the province that were abandoned, with more than 4000 homes unfinished, as of last year.

In many cases, these projects have stalled due to issues relating to contractors, lack of support from municipalities and lack of support and supervision from the Department of Human Settlements.

The recent court order against the Buffalo City Municipality relating to the RDP housing project in Fynbos is just one example of how the people of the Eastern Cape are being mistreated.

It is incomprehensible that the court has had to order the municipality to complete RDP houses and temporary housing structures, and complete unfinished RDP houses in Buffalo Flats communities, within the next two years.

Some of the beneficiaries of these projects have been waiting for more than twenty years for their promised homes to be completed.

The delays in completing these projects have led to several clashes between upset beneficiaries and the municipality.

The Democratic Alliance has repeatedly called on the Department to put measures in place to monitor the work done by contractors and build capacity to manage housing projects in the province.

I have written to MEC Kontsiwe to request that an audit of all housing projects in the province be conducted, to determine which have stalled or been abandoned, and to identify what the reasons are for this.

Based on this audit, the Department can then begin focusing on identifying ways to finish these projects, and provide decent housing to the beneficiaries, instead of waiting for the courts to intervene.

The DA will continue to fight for the people of the Eastern Cape and ensure that they have access to decent housing.