Eastern Cape Dept of Housing asked to address beneficiary challenges

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

A delegation from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) visiting the Eastern Cape has called on the Provincial Department of Human Settlements to address the challenges posed by beneficiary absenteeism on its housing programmes.

Provincial Whip of the delegation to the NCOP, Mandla Rayi, said beneficiary challenges have resulted in fights and protests, and often houses would stand unoccupied while issues remained unsolved.

“The province should be transparent with who it includes in its projects. People should not be disgruntled to the point of not trusting officials,” Rayi said on Wednesday.

Rayi also emphasised that the claims from dissatisfied communities of unknown people who somehow find themselves on the beneficiary list, needed to be looked at before it leads to protests.

“Another challenge that was underscored in the province surrounds people who sub-let houses after getting houses meant for indigent people; in worst case scenarios other people sell the houses meant for poor people to foreign nationals,” he said.

The provincial NCOP delegation visited a rectification project in Mqanduli where 500 houses, which were built in 2010, will have to be demolished.

The visit formed part of the NCOP’s Provincial Week, where members of Parliament visit their respective provinces.

Rayi explained that their visit was meant to entrench the spirit of corporative governance, which is a cornerstone of the constitutional mandate of the NCOP as a means to fast-track service delivery. 

MEC for Human Settlements, Safety and Liaison, Helen Sauls-August, who delivered the provincial report on behalf of the Premier reported that there are clear priority targets for the province that are meant to enhance its service delivery commitments.

“Our main target is to promote quality education and skills development. But most importantly, we have made a commitment in this financial year to transform the economy of the province to create jobs and enhance sustainable livelihood as a means to strengthen the notion of a developmental state and good governance.”

In responding to people’s needs, Sauls-August said the province has initiated public participation outreach programmes such as imbizos, stakeholders engagements, a presidential hotline and customer care programmes to ensure the voices of the people are not only heard but are taken into account.   

“In order to improve the impact of government programmes as well as to ensure quality service delivery, the key principles for the current term of government are accountability, citizenry partnership and urgency in doing things,” Sauls-August said. – SAnews.gov.za