DA KZN: Portfolio committee rejects DA fair housing allocation proposal

Hlanganani Gumbi, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements:

A proposal by the DA – that members of the KZN Human Settlement portfolio committee adopt fair housing allocation as a priority in the committee’s Annual Oversight Plan – was rejected outright by other parties earlier today on the basis that – “all housing projects should be allocating houses fairly” and “if they are not, people must bring proof.”

It is difficult to comprehend the ignorance of these remarks.

The fact is that housing allocation is of critical public interest, as is the perception in many communities that the process is almost always corrupt. This has already caused much conflict, endangering people’s lives including those of local councillors and sparking many violent public protests.

The Annual Oversight Plan is the foundation by which the portfolio committee holds the executive to account.  It informs every strategic move in the bid to ensure oversight when it comes to communities receiving services and allows the committee to influence the KZN Human Settlement department.

During his last Budget Speech, KZN Human Settlement MEC Ravi Pillay promised that he would implement a proper housing waiting list in KZN.   This is a clear acknowledgement that the current system is not always fair.  Since then the MEC has been silent on the matter. 

The DA regards this as a ploy to silence critics without any real desire to address unfair allocations.

This morning’s decision, by representatives of the committee, to flippantly cast aside the DA’s request is both disappointing and short-sighted. The committee has a duty to ensure that municipalities allocate housing fairly and to ensure that where there are loopholes that the committee and department act appropriately.

The DA will continue to monitor housing allocations in the province in a bid to ensure that greater emphasis is placed on this critical issue.