Joburg’s R64 million housing project of shame

By Mervyn Cirota MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements:

Thousands of Joburg residents on the housing waiting list remain stranded at alternative camp sites in Reyashoma and Alexandra due to the ineptitude of the City of Johannesburg’s officials to have them placed.

A total of 232 social rental housing units were built in the north of Johannesburg to the tune of R64 million, and Gauteng Human Settlements MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, must urgently explain why they have been left unoccupied for three years.

According to a statement by the City of Johannesburg, these flats have now been vandalised to such an extent that they will now have to be upgraded at further cost.

Access to housing is a basic human right as enshrined in our Constitution. The City of Johannesburg has continually failed to deliver on this mandate to have residents placed in housing units that are serviced, and uphold the dignity of the city’s most poor and vulnerable residents.

Instead of leaving housing units empty and at risk of vandalism, the City of Johannesburg needs to fast-track delivery to beneficiaries and monitor housing projects in order to prevent their decay.

I will ask MEC Mamabolo to account for the non-delivery of housing units to Joburg residents and what lack of oversight there might have been in preventing the human settlements departments of both in the city and the province to deliver on its mandate.