Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Gauteng housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane claimed that RDP houses were not allocated to foreigners, but a departmental report submitted to the legislature portfolio committee indicated that nine subsidised houses were in fact given to Mozambicans and Zimbabweans in Alexandra.

Most of the foreigners who reportedly benefited in Alexandra Extension 7 had South African identity documents, but the MEC insisted that only two were non-South Africans.

Mokonyane told the committee that "not one case can be classified as a house being occupied by illegal immigrants as has been widely reported".

She said the allocation was in line with the national house code.

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) rejected Mokonyane's assertion. It said the main qualifying criterium should be South African citizenship, not permanent residence.

The party challenged the housing code's provision that a person qualified if he or she had a permanent resident permit.

It also demanded an explanation from Mokonyane and Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu for "permanent resident foreigners" jumping the housing queue.

Gauteng DA MPL Kate Lorimer said the report showed the department admitted that RDP houses were officially allocated to non-South African citizens.

The DA alleges that one of the causes of the xenophobic attacks is envy resulting from the corrupt allocation of houses to foreigners.

"The DA does not agree that non-citizens should get houses," Lorimer said. "We believe state resources should go to South Africans first."

Lorimer also rejected the explanation that the foreigners were permanent residents.

"The fact remains that, contrary to assertions by senior departmental officials, houses have been allocated to non-South Africans as a matter of policy ."