Building of new houses put on hold, says MEC

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Mpumalanga housing department will not build new houses this financial year, but will instead concentrate on completing all the unfinished units.

MEC for housing Candith Mashego-Dlamini yesterday said the outstanding houses would be completed by next year.

She said incompetent contractors were responsible for not completing the houses.

"This time we have made it clear that we will hire high capacity contractors and, through our supply chain management processes, we have identified and appointed contractors with the required capacity," said Mashego-Dlamini.

"Our housing programme has been in disarray and plagued with problems, but we are committed to ensuring that we accelerate delivery in the province and improve the quality of the houses."

She said her department had managed to procure land for housing in the Mbombela, Steve Tshwete and Govan Mbeki municipalities.

"The acquired land will ease the problem of low-cost housing. The land is well located and will cater for various housing needs as outlined by the national housing strategy known as Breaking New Ground," the MEC said.

She said the department still faced the challenge of affordable housing for low to moderate income earners. A total of 1068 people could not be provided with houses in the Mbombela, Umjindi and Emalahleni municipalities.

Mashego-Dlamini said though the main focus would be the completion of houses, the issue of informal settlements would have to be dealt with.

"We are determined to meet the target of eradicating all informal settlements by 2014.

"We have taken a conscious decision to deal with the scourge of mushrooming informal settlements in the province," Mashego-Dlamini said.