Clean audits, but thousands remain homeless – Coghsta MEC must account

By Jacques Smalle (MPL), DA Limpopo spokespersons on Cohgsta:

The DA will request the portfolio committee of Coghsta to summon MEC Makoma Makhurupetje to account for the poor project management of the province’s human settlement programme.

For the past three financial years, MEC Makhurupetje has been promising homes and integrated living spaces to the citizens of this province who desperately need houses in her budget votes.

Yet, in reality:

  • 84% of housing beneficiaries are still waiting for housing properties to be officially transferred into their names
  • 50 hectares of land targeted for crucial service delivery projects has to date not been acquired
  • Not one of the 250 rental units promised was ever built
  • The department did not connect any of the 500 targeted new sites for connection to basic water and sanitation services which is part of the Integrated Residential Development Programme
  • Just 309 out of 3000 units were registered and endorsed.

This development is at the core of Coghsta’s departmental mandate, yet a number of targets under the integrated sustainable human settlements programme have suffered for the past 3 years despite favourable audit opinions.

In the 2013/14 financial year, at least 10 500 RDP homes were planned and budgeted for but a mere 2 877 houses were built due to delay in procurement processes.

The 2014/15 Annual report indicates that it failed yet again to reach the target and only built 2 065.

More disturbingly, of the R923 829 million allocated, there was once again significant under spending of R246 million in 2014/15, projects remain unfinished and there is no value for money in output.

The above mentioned failures are just not about the systemic failure of the department’s procurement processes. This is an indication that the ANC government simply does not care about the people of Limpopo.

This department’s inefficiencies led to R644 million being returned back to National Treasury in 2012/13.

In the 2013/14 financial year, the programme under spent the total allocated budget by R449,4 million.

A number of concerning issues were identified by the AG’s audit of the department:

  • Cumulative irregular expenditure of R 487 820
  • Annual financial statements were not in accordance with section 40 (1)(b) of the PFMA
  • No proper oversight on financial and performance reporting and compliance and internal control exercised by leadership.

We are concerned that neither the 8500 for 2015/16 nor the 80 000 units in 2019 which were promised by the MEC to the people of this province will ever materialize.

The DA believes that houses are an asset which will enable the poorest in our communities to retain their dignity and empower many out of trappings of poverty and debt.

It is high time that MEC Makhurupetje stops gloating about her department’s clean audit outcome which is a material expectation of government, but rather focus on achieving her housing targets.