Janet Semple MPL
Spokesperson on Housing
There is no sign of any improvement at the Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel in Alexandra despite more than R 6.4 million having been spent on repairs and maintenance in the past five years, this is almost R1.3 million a year. The DA insists that a full scale investigation be done as money continues to be allocated, and is allegedly spent, without yielding any results.
The reality simply does not reflect this. Something does not add up, so who’s fooling who? I recently visited the hostel on two occasions and the conditions are appalling. These conditions simply do not reflect an expenditure of some R 6.4 million.
In a written response to my question for Gauteng Local Government and Housing MEC Ntombi Mekgwe indicates that eight service providers had been assigned to conduct maintenance and repairs over the past five years at the hostel. According to the MEC work is allegedly even verified before payments are made. Whoever is authorising these payments must be held accountable.
During my last visit one of the residents was close to tears as she described how they are subjected to appalling conditions. The hostel is infested with rats, blocked drains and corridors have been without electricity for more than ten months. Children play in puddles of sewage water and electric cables are used for hanging clothes out to dry.
The MEC must conduct a full scale investigation into the budget allocation and spending at this hostel to determine whether he millions spent were indeed used to improve the living conditions for the women at the hostel.