housing dilemma

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma says he believes the government has met the housing backlog in most of the country's provinces.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma says he believes the government has met the housing backlog in most of the country's provinces.

Zuma made the claim on SABC2 television on Wednesday night and again in Parliament yesterday afternoon.

He announced that he would meet all premiers and human settlement MECs in a special Presidential Coordinating Council meeting next Tuesday.

The government believed that it had provided free housing, and had "met the housing backlog in most provinces", Zuma said.

"However, in a country where many are unemployed, the houses are rented out for regular cash flow. People move back into shacks in areas where the services are not planned for and demand services there.

"We have to go beyond appealing to the people not to rent or sell the free houses.

"We will discuss how to ensure that each house allocated is occupied by the people it was allocated to," Zuma said.

He also responded to criticism by the Democratic Alliance that the specialised commercial crimes unit - with a 94percent success rate in busting high-level criminals - was being disbanded.

Dene Smuts of the DA complained on Wednesday to Zuma that disbanding the unit would be a major blow to the fight against crime.

Yesterday Zuma said Smuts had raised "serious concerns".

"The Justice Crime Peace and Security cluster is in the process of negotiating its delivery agreement. Any possible restructuring of the NPA has been deferred pending the finalisation of what the cluster must first conclude," Zuma said.

Zuma also bowed to the opposition parties' demands to make his ministers' performance agreements public.

"Since there is a cry that they should come out, because there is no secret, once those processes have been concluded they will come out to anyone who needs to know," he said.

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