Untraceable beneficiaries to be removed from housing list

By Sydney Masinga

Nelspruit - The Mpumalanga government will deregister 3 360 untraceable beneficiaries from the RDP housing list.

Tabling the R1.1-billion provincial Department of Human Settlements budget in the legislature in Nelspruit on Tuesday, MEC Madala Masuku said the "missing" beneficiaries had to be removed and would be replaced by new applicants.

"We have untraceable beneficiaries who create a challenge of unoccupied houses all over the province, resulting in illegal occupants who sometimes engage in illegal activities.

"We used local municipalities, local radio stations and newspapers in the last year trying to trace these beneficiaries, with no luck, so we have no choice but to give these houses to other people," said Masuku.

He also announced that his department would demolish and rebuild 600 houses that had been built before 1994.

"We assessed these houses and found that they were unsafe to live in. We will also continue to fix 925 houses with structural defects, which were built between 1994 and 2002 and which have already been assessed. They will be rectified in this financial year," he said.

In addition, the department will complete 910 houses that were meant to have been built in the previous financial year.

"But the majority of our budget will be used on bringing to reality integrated human settlements in the province. We will partner with financial institutions and developers to deliver them in Thaba Chweu, Emalahleni and Dipaliseng municipalities."

The integrated human settlements will feature services such as water, electricity and business site infrastructure, and will accommodate a total of 2 500 households in bonded upmarket houses, middle-income houses, fully subsidised houses and apartments.

"These are huge three-year projects that, after completion, will deliver infrastructure able to accommodate just more than 20 000 households in the three identified municipalities.

"The social cluster has agreed that other amenities like schools, sports centres, health and social service facilities will be provided in these areas, developed to the norms and standards required," Masuku said. - BuaNews