Bisho — The Eastern Cape MEC of Human Settlements, Helen Sauls-August, says the province is steadily winning the battle to increase access to formal housing.
MEC Sauls-August also said that the performance of her department continues to improve each year and has national accolades to show for it.
She said this while delivering her policy and budget speech at the legislature precinct in Bisho on Wednesday.
"We have been working tirelessly to ensure that all deserving people of our province have a roof over their heads and our efforts have not gone unnoticed. As a result, our projects received national accolades in various categories," she said.
Addressing the house, the MEC said there is a steady increase in the number of households living in formal dwellings over time from 65.1% in 1996 to 79.2% in 2016.
"The percentage of households living in traditional dwellings has also declined rapidly from 18.3% in 1996 to 7% in 2016.
"The Eastern Cape Province distribution of households, whose main dwelling is government subsidised dwelling, increased to 386 802 in 2016.
"Those living in informal dwellings have decreased slightly from 16.2% in 1996 to 13% in 2016," the MEC said.
The MEC said her department does not overlook the destitute and vulnerable members of society, who are in need of their services.
"Our department caters for all types of people, especially those who are vulnerable. Within the classification of destitute and vulnerable groups, we are proud to have completed construction of houses for the visually impaired 27 beneficiaries in Dimbaza," said MEC Sauls-August.
The houses are currently having electricity connected.
The MEC said internally, her department is stable and has been able to detect and deal with fraudulent and corrupt practices. The department has referred such cases to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
"We will not tolerate corruption that robs the people of their right to safe homes and our mandate to deliver services to them. We can report that some of the cases are before the courts," she said. - SAnews.gov.za-TLM