Communities continue to live in deplorable conditions due to poor government oversight

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

The Mpumalanga department of Human Settlements continues to subject the province’s people to dismal and inhumane living conditions and wasting taxpayers money due to its failure to conduct efficient oversight and deliver complete, decent RDP housing projects.

During a visit to Harmony Hill in Sabie in the Thaba Chweu Municipality, the DA’s James Masango was shocked to see hundreds of people using water-filled buckets to flush their toilets as the toilets in their RDP houses are not functioning and were never connected to a sewage system.

In an attempt to address the problem, residents dug a make-shift sewage system just a few metres underground to which all the sewage runs into when their toilets are flushed. This not only poses serious health risks, but also exposes them to appalling living standards.

The DA is shocked by these findings, which are not new to the province with communities in the Mkhondo and Govan Mbeki Local Municipalities experiencing similar problems. We also fail to understand how the department can allow for RDP houses to be built without first ensuring that such houses are supported by basic service infrastructure.

This reiterates the department’s dismal service delivery performance and the government’s irresponsible behaviour in decision making when it comes to tenders for RDP projects. It also accumulates to wasteful expenditure as the department will now have to pay another contractor to finish the job.

With the view that drastic action needs to be taken to rectify this problem, the DA will write to Human Settlements MEC, Andries Gamede, requesting him to investigate the situation and find a speedy solution.

It is simply preposterous that almost two decades into democracy, people in this province are still living under such shabby conditions. The people of Mpumalanga must start receiving what is rightfully theirs – and with decent housing being a basic human right the time to start receiving it is now!

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