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Don't go sell the roof over your head

By unknown | Jan 25, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibonelo Mkhwanazi

Sibonelo Mkhwanazi

The Housing Department has issued a stern warning to South Africans who are selling their low- cost houses to foreigners who then rent them out to needy locals.

"Many of those who have been given RDP houses are selling to foreigners who live lavishly in the posh suburbs, while the majority of South Africans have no shelter over their heads. This undermines the department's efforts to address the housing problems in the country," said Monwabisi Maclean, Housing Department spokesman.

Maclean said the department would continue working with the special investigation unit to root out corruption. He commended whistleblowers for alerting authorities.

Most of the housing fraud cases have been reported in areas in Ekurhuleni.

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council spokesman Zweli Dlamini said his municipality was aware of the practice of selling RDP houses to foreigners. He said this was slowing efforts to eradicate slums by 2014.

Independent housing analyst Kecia Rust told Sowetan the war against corruption in this sector had to start at a grassroots level.

"The Home Affairs Department has to be involved and it has to strengthen its immigration laws," said Rust.

She said she knew of cases where municipalities were selling plots to non-qualifying individuals and groups.

"The government's policy on housing is very sound, but implementation is difficult," Rust said.

Butch Steyn, DA housing spokesman, said it was not the first time such allegations had been reported.


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