George Mari, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlement
It is three weeks since the Democratic Alliance wrote to KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Senzo Mchunu, requesting a Commission of Inquiry into all housing delivery matters within Durban’s Cato Crest informal settlement.
The move follows ongoing allegations of unlawful evictions, illegal contractors, unfair allocations and other corruption-based activity.
To date we have had no response from the Premier’s office. Nor have we received any feedback from KZN Human Settlements MEC, Ravi Pillay.
Recent events at Cato Crest show what can happen when there is doubt about the sincerity of housing officials and when a 4 000-family strong community runs out of patience.
Cato Crest represents the frustrations of thousands of people in KwaZulu-Natal who still live in transit camps or informal settlements despite being promised homes years ago.
The housing shortage in our province must not be glossed over.
At the heart of the problem in eThekwini lies the housing department’s failure to deliver. In a recent promotional message, Mayor James Nxumalo boasts that 171 337 homes have been built since 1994. This equates to some 8 500 homes per annum – way short of the original target of 16 000.
As we have already seen, housing is a highly sensitive matter which has the potential to ignite a community.
The DA calls on the Premier to launch a Commission of Inquiry into Cato Crest without delay in order to deal with the many issues that remain unresolved.