South Africa: No Proof of Corruption in Overstrand Housing Department - Mayor

Anyone with proof of corruption within the Overstrand Municipality's housing department is encouraged to come forward so that the claims can be investigated, Mayor Dudley Coetzee said on Tuesday.

This, after community leader Masibulele Jimlongo claimed that corruption in the allocation of RDP homes had led to the violent protest that broke out in Hermanus last Thursday.

Jimlongo told News24 that, for the past two years, the municipality appeared to be ignoring their demands for an investigation into the fraudulent distribution of the homes.

"Some officials inside the municipality are selling the houses to other people and [giving] it to their friends," he said.

Jimlongo insisted that people who had been on the housing waiting list since as far back as 1991, had not yet been allocated a home.

But Coetzee said he had previously requested information regarding such claims, which he said had repeatedly been made by "one individual in Zwelihle".

No further details had been received, he argued.

"It has in the past been investigated, but nothing was proven. It turned out to be false accusations," he said.

In the past, people had applied for their names to be added to the housing waiting list but did not meet the criteria, Coetzee continued. So when another person is given a house who had applied after them, this is perceived as corruption, he explained.

Applicants must be SA citizens, have dependents and earn R3 500 or less per month.

He urged anyone with proof of corruption to bring it to the municipality's attention for investigation.

"And if any person in the housing department is found to have been involved with corruption, they will be severely dealt with," he warned.

Hermanus has been gripped by protests, that started on Thursday and came to a head on Monday. A satellite police station was set alight, a library gutted and spaza shops looted.

At a meeting with protesting residents on Tuesday, Western Cape Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela promised that land would be made available for Zwelihle backyarders.

While no houses could be promised yet, he said land would be provided to residents as a first step.

Source: News24

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