Gauteng Human Settlements Annual Report shows massive irregularities

Mervyn Cirota MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Human Settlements

Gauteng’s Human Settlements Annual report for the 2013/14 financial year shows massive irregularities within the department and is a clear indication of the extent of the housing crisis within the province.

The Auditor-General qualified the report on several grounds, including but not limited to the following:

  • The department did not have adequate systems to maintain records and commitments made to service providers;
  • The department did not disclose all irregular expenditure;
  • The department is the defendant in a number of law suits where no provision for liability in the financial statements has been made;
  • For many performance indicators, the reported performance information was not accurate or complete when compared to source info or evidence provided;
  • Effective steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure;
  • Some goods and services with value above R500 000 were procured without inviting competitive bids; and
  • A lack of effective leadership, including the accounting officer, CFO, human resources and internal controls

The department also failed to reach most of its targets in key areas such as housing development, social and rental interventions, and the Twenty Prioritised Township Programme.

While the department indicated that a Sustainable Human Settlements Strategy was under development, it is unclear when this will be implemented or what it will contain.

Gauteng has experienced a recent spate of housing delivery protests which clearly derive from the department’s failure to adequately tackle the housing backlog or provide any clear policy direction on future projects.

I will be submitting questions to MEC for Human Settlements in Gauteng, Jacob Mamabolo, to establish what measures he will be taking to turnaround the department’s qualified audit, when the Sustainable Human Settlements Strategy will be implemented, what he plans to do about poor senior leadership challenges and how he will tackle missed targets in the key deliverables.

It is impossible to plan or implement a sustainable and effective housing strategy when the department remains in shambles and the MEC does not provide any clear political leadership or direction.