James Masango MPL
Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition
Note: The following member’s testament was made by James Masango to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature
It is difficult to believe that the Mpumalanga government will start delivering on its housing mandate given what we witnessed in Thembisile Hani this week.
During the State of the Province address in March Premier David Mabuza vowed that all incomplete houses would be completed within 100 days of the speech, however there are still many unfinished RDP units in this area.
A good example is an unfinished house in Vlaklaagte, where former premier and current Thembisile Hani mayor, NJ Mahlangu, lives. The construction of this house began in 1999 when Mahlangu became premier, but despite seeing the incomplete unit frequently over the last 14 years, the former premier has still done nothing to ensure its completion.
The house beneficiary says despite government’s endless promises to finish the unit she still lives in an unsafe shack behind the structure.
Sadly this isn’t a unique situation and is being experienced across the province. This raises the question – if government can’t complete houses that it started building 14 years ago, how can we believe they have prioritised to meet their housing mandate and targets anytime soon?
The fact of the matter is that thousands of people continue to live without decent shelter and government is simply not safeguarding their basic human right to housing.