2 November 2012

South Africa: Democratic Alliance Misleads People of Gauteng On Housing Statistics

press release

The Department of Local Government and Housing is seriously disturbed by the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) gross misrepresentation of statistics, and even lying, which accused the department of failing to deliver houses as per the targets set. This deliberate attempt at misleading the public spans over two financial years.

According to the DA statement yesterday, the Department of Local Government and Housing failed to deliver over 20000 houses, to wit, 12 175 houses and 8012 houses in 2011/12 and 2011/10 respectively. These are not our targets, and our achievements actually exceed these numbers. Our Department is still perplexed as to where the DA sourced these stats. DA's spokesperson on Housing Janet Semple refers to Department's annual report, but sadly the statistics she quotes are not even in the annual report itself.

On 21 September 2012 MEC Ntombi Mekgwe presented the 2011/12 annual report of the Department to the legislature, which reported that the Department achieved 76% of the target, where 16662 houses were built against a target of 21415. In the same report, it was also mentioned that in the previous financial year (2010/11), the Department reached the target of 67% by building 18434 houses. This was an improvement from the previous financial year.

The DA's statement also reflects the failure to under the Department's human settlements mandate. Over and above building "houses" in the traditional sense of the word, the Department is also responsible for creating other human settlements opportunities such as eradication of informal settlements, mixed housing development, rental accommodation, servicing of stands, urban renewal, etc.

In the report, it is declared that 8955 stands were serviced for the eradication of informal settlements and that 3704 housing units were completed for mixed housing developments. These interventions alone total more than 12000 housing opportunities in the 2011/2012 financial, therefore meaning close to 30000 housing opportunities were created by the Gauteng Department of Local Government and Housing in that period.

All these were achieved notwithstanding the scarcity of land in Gauteng, and despite the mega migration into our province as the census has confirmed. This also excludes the human settlements opportunities that were created by our Metros themselves, who have all since received accreditation. Also, one of the reason's people are rushing into our province is because our delivery of houses is very evident.

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