DA: land grabs not the way to solve housing crisis

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader:

The Democratic Alliance calls on the EFF to desist from illegal conduct. We condemn illegal land grabs. This is not the way to solve the housing crisis in the province. Instead, we need the department of COGHSTA to step up and to improve its housing delivery.

Simply put, the department is building the wrong amount of houses on the wrong soil using the wrong contractors. It needs to set proper targets and manage its finances in such a way that targets can be achieved. In this financial year, the department only wants to build enough houses to solve 3% of the provincial housing backlog. At the rate it is going, it will take the department 33 years to address the current provincial housing backlog, excluding new applicants who qualify for housing. We can all agree that is far too long.

We need value for money when contractors are appointed for housing projects. We need contractors who are appointed on skill and merit, not because of political connections. It must be jobs for professionals and not jobs for pals. In the Lerato Park housing project, houses were built on the wrong soil and in Galeshewe, 84 houses were built without foundations. This is not good enough.

We are one of the provinces that spend the most money on rectifying houses. This wouldn’t be the case if sturdy houses were built in the first place.  In 2014, the department spent R6.9 million on rectifying

32 houses. That is enough money to build 69 new houses from scratch.

The department must deliver houses that don’t fall apart in the first year.

We warn the EFF that land grabs are illegal and that criminal charges will follow if land grabs take place. If any member of the Legislature is involved in illegal land grabs, we will also pursue disciplinary charges through the Legislature. We will not tolerate any lawlessness.