Madonsela urged to probe RDP's rot
RESIDENTS of townships in Mpumalanga have pleaded with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate housing problems before blood is shed.
Speakers told Madonsela at the national stakeholder consultative dialogue held at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit about corruption in the allocation of houses in the province.
Sifiso Khumalo, deputy chairman of the Tekwana branch of the South African National Civics Organisation, said: "We are at a point where people will kill each other, because people are desperate for houses."
Khumalo said another problem was contractors doing shoddy jobs.
"The roofs in these houses are leaking and the walls have cracks," he said.
Many other complaints were about contractors conniving with officials of the department of human settlements and selling RDP houses. Others complained about people with disabilities being sidelined by municipalities and the department of human settlements.
Resident William Nkatha said: "There were 120 houses built in Matsulu in the 2006-2007 financial year. People could not understand how these houses would be allocated.
"The contractor told people that in order to qualify for an RDP house, they had to deposit R2479 into a certain account. Towards the completion of the project, residents illegally occupied the houses," Nkatha said.
Addressing the dialogue earlier, Madonsela said: "The main systemic investigation focuses on the delivery of RDP housing. We are conducting the systemic investigation in response to a flood of complaints we have received over the years.
"These range from alleged planning inadequacies, procurement irregularities, including corruption and fraud, leading to defective houses among many inadequacies, allocation irregularities posing challenges such as missing title deeds and illegal sale of RDP houses."
Her office had received 145 RDP housing-related grievances in the year ending on March 31 this year.
Other complaints were about access to water, electricity and sanitation.
Provincial MEC for human settlements Siphosezwe Masango said there were people who did not need RDP houses but had registered for them.
"These houses are rented to foreigners and turned into spaza shops. We are a laughing stock out there," Masango said. - firstname.lastname@example.org