Budget vote speeches: Human Settlements

Bosman Grobler MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Human Settlements

Note: The following speech was delivered in the Mpumalanga Legislature today by the DA’s Spokesperson on Human Settlements, Bosman Grobler MPL, during the budget vote debate on Human Settlements.

Honourable Speaker, the Honourable MEC has just delivered her speech on Human Settlements. Human Settlement – a very tangible aspect for the people of Mpumalanga. When it comes to service delivery,

In the Constitution it states in section 26 (2) (And I quote) ”The State must take reasonable legislative and other measures with its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of this right” yet in the 20 years since the dawn of democracy the department has delivered a disgraceful amount of 178 856 housing units, which equals to less than 9000 units per annum.

I think our worst realisation is the fact, that the department reported in its annual performance plan for 2014/15. That the housing backlog for this province is 197 156, which raises the concern that government will spend the next  20 years or more, just to try and clear the backlog.

Hon MEC, please note that in the Western Cape, the DA has in a 3 year period (April 2009 to 31 March 2013), delivered a total of 94 228 houses. This equates to 31000 houses per annum. More than 3 times the amount we could produce in Mpumalanga.

In the reports submitted to the portfolio committee, which are filled with stats and figures,  it is alarming to note that not even the officials in the department are capable of confirming that these stats and figures are accurate and credible. We stand here today debating the budget Hon MEC, but we are not sure that this budget is accurate!!

Even ANC councillors on a local level are complaining about the inefficiency of this department to deliver on election promises of houses, water and sanitation.

Honourable Speaker, the DA advises the department to investigate alternative methods to reduce the massive backlog of houses. Even if it means using semi-permanent structures or converting abandoned buildings into suitable boarding and lodging facilities.

Hon MEC, the fate of your department is concerning, as this department has seen more MEC’s and HOD’s in the last administration than any other department. Your department has been plagued by incompetency and corruption. Hon Speaker, one thinks of the paradox that says the more you fail the less likely you are to succeed.

Honourable Speaker, I can stand here and waffle, and quote the stats provided by the APP. For example, it is disappointing that 57.8% of residents in the Ehlanzeni district have access to tap water or it is worrying that only 52.1% of residents in the same district have flush/chemical toilets. But as I already said, and as it was discussed in the committee meeting these, figures are highly questionable and thus, makes this debate worthless!

So I concluded Hon Speaker, the Democratic Alliance, and this house, cannot approve the budget for this department, as proposed by the Hon MEC, because it will be the equivalent of giving an impossible solution.

I thank you