KZN housing officials selectively targeting Phoenix poor

George Mari, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements

The Democratic Alliance has accused the eThekwini municipality and KZN’s Human Settlement department of targeting the poor in Phoenix after a ten percent rental increase on public housing.

The increment for Phoenix residents appears to be selective, with community members being targeted for a higher increase than other areas within the metro which have either had small increases or no increase at all.

Ten percent is higher than the rate of inflation and this increase is set to have a severe impact on the poor. The DA demands an explanation for what we regard as double standards.

There can be no doubt that Phoenix tenants are being held to ransom.  There are hostels within the Metro that have had major upgrades, yet rentals have not been increased.  The non-payment of rentals is also rife, yet no action is taken against individuals.  The question is why.

Phoenix tenants are caught between a rock and a hard place.  While rentals are hiked, the department is dragging its heels on the transfer of homes and has even failed to meet its goal of transferring 1 000 homes – a figure drastically reduced from the original target of 10 000.

The DA is vehemently opposed to the manner in which the department is selectively targeting the poor in Phoenix.  Given the delay in transfers, the decent thing to do would be to stop rental increases altogether.  We expect the MEC to act.

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