We have in the Western Cape a province that has not been able to improve its informal settlements, and we have a province that complains of very little budget allocation for it ever to be able to build houses for our people, returning the very money they claim to need desperately, year after year, back to the national fiscus. This can never be understood outside the simple fact that the informal settlement constituency and the poor who need government houses are not the DA's valuable customer.
The great Oliver Goldsmith once said, "Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates, and men decay."
I remembered these words when the current MEC for Human Settlements in the Western Cape, Bonginkosi Madikizela, responding to a criticism that questioned the huge failure of his department's very core mandate of providing social housing, said:
"We are responsible for Estate Agency Affairs Board of Real Estate that is worth almost R7-trillion as the end of last year. We have to see the mandate of this department as an economic lever rather than social intervention."
So while his spokesperson, Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka, presented the dire situation and insurmountable problems faced by the department,...