KZN Human Settlements Budget Debate

George Mari, MPL

DA KZN Alternate Spokesperson on Human Settlements

The DA welcomes KZN’s Human Settlements MEC’s new commitment to fast tracking the handing over of title deeds to citizens. Homes must also be assets for citizen’s upward economic mobility. The ownership of property and land unlocks economic power and so we must use title deeds to economically free our people.

This is non-negotiable – it simply has to happen. The DA will aggressively monitor title deed backlogs, and assist in your commitment to addressing them.

In terms of housing delivery, the DA has continuously urged the MEC to look at alternative methods of housing delivery.   These include;

–          Allocate vacant land to home seekers who can build their own homes through site and service and self help schemes. The Cornubia Housing Project presents an ideal opportunity

–          Municipalities that are accredited to deliver housing must be capacitated to do so

–          Stringent performance monitoring. It is unacceptable that funds allocated remain unspent.  The MEC must recall this unspent money and spend it on housing.

SHRA

An amount of some R100million was transferred to this programme.  It was reported that this money landed up in the account of First Metro Housing, who claim they do not know how it ended up there.  MEC can you shed some light on this matter. Are you aware of it? The National Minister of Human Settlements has put SHRA under Administration alleging that they acted outside their mandate. The DA welcomes this intervention.

EEDBS

We draw the MEC’s attention to the slow pace of implementing the EEDBS. Throughout KZN, municipalities are failing to implement.  The DA believes there is a deliberate attempt to delay due to the collection of rentals. MEC – stop charging rentals, starting with eThekwini and Msunduzi. Grantees and pensioners especially are struggling to pay and are having their water and electricity disconnected.

Allocation Policy and Waiting Lists

The MEC stated that the policy of 5% of housing projects allocated to minority communities was an interim arrangement.  Scrap this policy and introduce a transparent waiting list in all municipalities – starting in Ethekwini. Councillors must not get involved in allocation.

The DA welcomes the progress on the Shallcross Flats upgrade but we are disappointed that this project has been halted and gone out to tender.  You have a good contractor on site who implemented the Pilot Project.  Why has the Department not extend the contract like many other projects? This is what the community wants.

We also welcome the renovation of flats in Phoenix. The only problem is the interference of certain ANC members who are undermining the Ward Councillor and employing their own family and friends.