James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
Note: This is an excerpt of James Masango’s address during the hand-over ceremony of four houses to DA-identified beneficiaries in Nkomazi on Saturday, 10 August.
Today is yet another auspicious day in the history of the DA in Mpumalanga, as we assume yet another service delivery function from the Mpumalanga provincial administration in our efforts to bring people a better life.
Recognising that government has failed to provide decent housing in the Nkomazi area, the DA, in partnership with Thembalethu Home Based Care and church groups, brought four families new hope with these homes.
In a matter of weeks after identifying the four families, the two-bedroomed houses, each with its own water tank and vegetable garden, were completed. This joint effort once again proves the DA’s stance that working together for a common cause can and does bridge the gap between various stakeholders, and should not be held up by unnncessary delays.
The DA is especially proud that these homes are handed over during National Women’s Month, as we commemorate the role and contribution women play in our society. Two homes will go to single mothers, one to a family with a 15-year-old boy as head, and the last to a desperately poor family. We hope, that through this donation, life in an otherwise desperate situation would indeed prove to be more hopeful.
It is widely known and accepted that government’s provision of decent housing in Mpumalanga has fallen far short of expectations. Ever year promises are made that backlogs would be cleared and that thousands of new houses would be built.
Sadly, this is not the case, as every year government fails to meet its targets, fails to clear backlogs, and yet, contractor after contractor is paid without any verification that houses are indeed completed and ready for occupation.
Year after year would-be beneficiaries fall victim to corrupt practices as lists are manipulated to suit the highest bidder, or amended or lost depending on alliances within the ANC – and yet, this goes unprosecuted and unpunished.
The truth is that the entire housing and beneficiary management system is in desperate need of clear and honest oversight – that which the DA provides. With systems tried and tested in the Western Cape, we have managed to clear thousands upon thousands of housing back-logs, while at the same time providing more new homes than any other province in South Africa.
The DA’s housing delivery track record in the Western Cape, as well as our commitment to act in the interests of the people, shows that where we govern life is indeed better – and it is merely a matter of time before people vote for a DA government to do the same in Mpumalanga.