By James Masango MPL, DA Spokesperson on Human Settlements:
While the Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlement claims it had achieved its targets on building houses for the poor, the Auditor General could not verify this information.
In the 2014/15 annual report, the Auditor General states that significant important targets were not reliable, as it was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence for them.
The AG also indicates that sufficient appropriate audit evidence could not be obtained that all contracts had been awarded in accordance with the legislative requirements, as a result of inadequate internal controls to ensure proper record keeping.
This clearly indicates that the department has total disregard for compliance with legislation and internal controls.
The annual report reveals that the department underspend R127.9 million for the 2014/15 financial year, this number has increased from R36.4 million in 2013/14. The department spend 93.8% of its budget for the 2014/15 financial year, but only managed to achieve 58.69% of its targets. The report further indicates that the department has incurred R78.8 million worth of irregular expenditure in the 2014/15 financial year. This takes the total of accumulated irregular expenditure for the department to R 80.388 million.
(Click here to view report)
Poor people of Mpumalanga will continue to live in shacks and inhuman conditions as the department fails to deliver on their mandate to provide people with decent housing.
Out of the planned 205 housing units the department had to build for military veterans, not even 1 unit was built in the 2014/15 financial year.
These veterans and their families will continue to suffer and live in squatters as the Mpumalanga Human Settlement Department is stagnant. MEC Violet Siwela blames all other stakeholders but not her Department of Human Settlement.
Other areas where the department failed:
- Of the 9 Human Settlement layout plans to be finalised, the department couldn’t even finalise 1. Lack of capacity in municipalities is blamed
- Of the planned 18 Housing chapters to be reviewed, only 11 were reviewed.
- The department planned to give out 20 consolidated subsidies for housing, and manged to give out 0. They cited non-qualifying beneficiaries as reasoning.
- Only delivered 79 of the planned 552 rural housing units. Non-performance of contractors and service delivery protests are blamed.
The DA believes that everyone must have the dignity of a home regardless of your income bracket. We will fight tirelessly to ensure, those in need are not left homeless due to the departments inaction and negligence.
It is obvious MEC Siwela and her Department does not have enough political will to address the severe indignity and suffering that poor people of Mpumalanga have to endure.