The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements will once again not meet its delivery targets for the 2021/2022 financial year. This is despite the undertaking made by the Premier in his State of the Province address in 2021 that all performance-related challenges faced by the Department will be addressed.
In a desperate attempt to save face, the Department made a last-ditch attempt to find housing beneficiaries by publishing a five-page long list in various newspapers yesterday. A case of doing too little, too late.
Behind every target missed is a family being deprived of a life of dignity.
Responding to a parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance, MEC of Human Settlements, Nonceba Kotsiwe, revealed that, as of 11 February, only 1 035 title deeds have been handed over to beneficiaries. Far short of the 2 000 targeted. Worse, only 1 421 title deeds have been registered, out of the 4 503 deeds targeted.
MEC Kotsiwe also revealed that the Department has only delivered 5 301 of the 7 442 low-cost houses it was supposed to build this financial year. A drop in the ocean compared to the 600 000 housing backlog for the province.
MEC Kotsiwe said the Department had failed to deliver one rental unit of the 200 planned, which she blamed on financial constraints faced by the social housing Institutions.
Despite having earmarked 115 targeted informal settlements for phase three upgrades, not one phase three upgrade has been implemented.
Kotsiwe said the implementation of phase three upgrades of the informal settlements had not taken place due to the inadequate availability of bulk infrastructure.
Last year, during the debate on the adoption of the 2020/2021 annual and financial oversight report, I implored the Department to urgently develop a plan to work with municipalities to deal with inadequate bulk infrastructure.
I further advised the MEC of the need to enhance the project management capacity and the strengthen performance management system in her department.
Clearly, this has not been done, and as a result, our people have endured another year of suffering.
In the coming weeks, I will be seeking answers through the Human Settlements Portfolio Committee as well as through follow up parliamentary questions. The MEC and her department must account for why they continue to miss delivery targets.