Housing list myth fails 2.4 million people in Gauteng

Janet Semple MPL

Spokesperson on Housing

Serious questions about the existence and functionality of Gauteng’s Housing Demand
Database represents a huge failure to tend to the needs of the 2 486 487
people living in informal settlements throughout the province.

Human Settlements MEC Ntombi Mekgwe is seemingly unable to provide details on
the Gauteng Housing Demand Database, reinforcing perceptions that it is
non-existent or dysfunctional.

When asked about the backlog in housing recently the MEC indicated that a
“sizeable number of applicants” have been waiting for more than five years in a
reply to my question in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

I am often approached by citizens who ask me to assist with verifying their
status on the database, and regularly – despite having a receipt from the
department – they do not appear on the list.

I have submitted an application under the Promotion of Access to Information
Act (PAIA) to obtain details of the database to ensure that the Department and
MEC is held accountable for the provision of housing services.

It is appalling that the people of Gauteng are left in limbo by a department
that is failing to provide services and to uphold its obligation under the
Constitution to facilitate access to housing.