MINISTER SISULU’S HOUSING COMMENTS LAUDED
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
Shack dwellers movement, Abahlali BaseMjondolo, has lauded Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s comments that there’s a huge housing backlog and no credible housing waiting list.
President of KwaZulu-Natal’s movement, Sbusiso Zikode said the Minister’s comments are “correct” and a pronged approach should be instituted to speed up housing delivery especially to informal settlement.
“What the minister is saying is the truth, particularly in the eThekwini Municipality as there’s a 400 000 people-long housing backlog,” Zikode told JournalismIziko.
“Houses are given to people who don’t qualify to get houses. People get houses because they are politically connected or friends with municipal officials. We are delighted that the minister is on her feet to deal with the matter and to push municipalities to speed up housing delivery,” Zikode added.
This week Sisulu told MPs in Parliament that housing delivery had fallen by an average of 25% over the past five years.
“We have been informed that the delivery of houses has dropped drastically across all provinces, some reaching lows of a 30% drop in delivery. We have huge shortages of land for housing, which is a primary need for our purpose,” Sisulu said.
Makhosi Khumalo – who has been living in the informal settlement in Enkanyezini – said she has lost hope in government.
“We don’t have proper houses. The conditions here are terrible. We have lost hope in our government. I did not vote because there’s no need to. This is sad because when I die my children will be stranded,” said emotional Khumalo.
KZN Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for Human Settlements, Hlanganani Gumbi told JournalismIziko that eThekwini residents have been “seriously” affected by this drop in delivery.
“Just over a decade ago we use to deliver over 16 000 housing units per annum, to date the municipality is battling to deliver over 4 000 units per annum,” Gumbi said.
“Housing delivery has been very poor with many poor quality houses built which require government to correct the work of shoddy contractors, whilst also the overall number of houses built dropping. We need to be much more creative in meeting our housing backlog,” Gumbi added.
“The ANC is failing to provide for the poor and is creating a housing system where only the connected ANC branches and individuals have a chance to get the few housing opportunities provided by government.”
The IFP Spokesperson on Human Settlements, Joshua Mazibuko said, “As freezing weather persists around the country this is a painful time for shack dwellers. Government is moving painfully slowly in improving shack dwellers’ living conditions.”