It has been revealed that approximately 10% of the total number of complaints received by the Public Protector between 2010 and 2012 relate to corruption and maladministration in the delivery of low-cost housing. A number of these complaints concern the favouring of ANC-connected contractors.
In a briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements yesterday, Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela highlighted the persistent pattern of complaints relating to RDP maladministration.
A number of problems with housing procurement were identified. These include reports of:
A disproportionate number of procurement contracts being awarded to ANC members;
Bills received for houses that were not built; and
Municipal inspectors failing to issue occupancy certificates that are meant to confirm the quality assurance of houses, leaving it to beneficiaries to provide the certificates themselves.
Serious complaints regarding allocation include the following:
Bias and/or corrupt activities by officials who allocate houses to friends and family members;
Double or multiple housing allocations; and
Priority not being given to the elderly and disabled.
I will be writing to the Human Settlements Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Mrs Beauty Nomhle Dambuza, to request that she call Minister Tokyo Sexwale to account for the persistent pattern of RDP housing maladministration.
I will also be closely monitoring the progress of the Public Protector's investigation into the matter.
The right to access adequate housing is enshrined in our Constitution. Having a roof overhead provides people with the security they need to grab hold of other opportunities and develop their full potential.
The current crisis in the provision of decent housing to all is robbing thousands of South Africans of the opportunity to improve their lives. Minister Sexwale must act now to bring the crisis to an end.
Stevens Mokgalapa, DA Spokesperson on Human Settlements