R14bn spent on EC housing delivery

Pretoria – Eastern Cape Human Settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August says the department has made remarkable strides in building houses for poor people.

Releasing the department’s five-year performance report on Thursday, the MEC said R14 495 374 billion has been spent on building 64 917 new houses between 2011 and March 2016 in the Eastern Cape.

“The quality of the houses has improved, as well as the spending on the conditional grant from which we have spent 100% for four years,” said MEC Sauls-August.

Between 2011 and 2016, 34 599 title deeds were issued to beneficiaries to confirm their home ownership and security of tenure; 1 945 social rental units were delivered; 53 870 services installed and 77 449 subsidies were approved. The provincial government has also created 87 715 jobs.

However, MEC Sauls-August said the department was concerned that many of the approved beneficiaries still live in shacks and backyard dwellings, while their completed houses are occupied by other people not originally approved for those houses.

“Housing corruption manifesting in any form that robs people of their homes is a counter-revolutionary act that puts a blemish on the high delivery performance of the department,” said the MEC.

The department has also submitted draft by-laws to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in an effort to protect the integrity of the beneficiary list.

“Municipal councils must now follow due process to ensure the adoption of these bylaws. Municipalities must lead in enforcing the credibility of beneficiary lists through a council resolution and encourage transparency in the allocation of houses.

“All municipalities are expected to establish housing allocation committees, whose responsibility will be to ensure that there is fairness and transparency on the allocation of houses amongst different groups, taking into account gender, youth, women and other vulnerable groups,” said MEC Sauls-August.

- SAnews.gov.za