Gauteng prioritises people who applied in 1996 for allocation of houses

Image: 123RF/ olegdudko

People who applied for government housing in 1996 will from now be the first to benefit from all housing projects implemented by the Gauteng department of human settlements, according to Gauteng human settlements MEC Uhuru Moiloa during the presentation of the department's quarterly performance report to the public on Wednesday.

“We are responding to a general grievance that the housing list is corrupted by officials. My administration has given a preliminary report on how many people in our system registered in 1996, what is their health and age. We have now developed a criterion that these are the people that are going to be considered to be the first beneficiaries of housing,” said Moiloa.

“We will then look at 1997… up to 2019. It is my intention that before the end of my term, I would have published the list of qualifying beneficiaries as approved by our housing subsidy system. We will publish them per region. The people of the West Rand will go to their municipalities and they will find a book which indicates who qualifies for which year. Hopefully, in the new term, we will be able to allocate housing lists to projects.”

Gauteng has currently 33 mega human settlement projects and each is projected to yield more than 10,000 housing units.

Over the years, managing the housing list has been a headache for the provincial government and officials had been accused of allocating houses to close relatives and members of their political affiliation.As a result, projects are always delayed because of protests against the people being allocated houses.

Moiloa said his department will also prioritise child-headed homes, disabled and elderly people on the first come, first served basis to avoid the confusion. “You cannot say you are disabled, you have arrived in Johannesburg and you must get a house. There are other disabled people waiting for houses in the province.”

Gauteng is struggling to reduce the housing backlog, about 1.1-million, due to more people relocating to the province for better economic opportunities. The backlog has also been a contributing factor on the high number of people living in informal settlements.In the 2019/2020 financial year, the department has allocated R770m to formalise informal settlements.

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