Port Elizabeth mother angry at how RDP system is being abused

BY NATALI IVERSON - JANUARY 22, 2016

A Port Elizabeth woman says she does not understand how some local residents manage to receive several free RDP houses, which they then rent out and illegally sell to willing buyers.

In 2010, Ncumie Makaoyintlahla Klaas told RNews, thought her prayers had been answered when she found a woman, who was looking for someone to stay at her RDP house in KwaDwesi.

Ncumie only had to pay for water and electricity usage - and she even happily got the home’s electricity box fixed with her own money.

She lived in that home for five years, until one day when she and her daughter were unexpectedly asked to vacate the house.

“The lady, who owned the RDP house, had passed away, and after her funeral, a man suddenly knocked on my door and told me that I had to immediately leave the premises, as the owners had sold the house to him,” Ncumie told RNews.

Just like that, she found herself and her daughter homeless - and angry.

She told RNews that she actually knew many people, who had been in similar situations.

Ncumie said her anger also emanated from the fact that she has been on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s RDP housing waiting list since 2004, and still hasn’t received her house.

Following the incident, she later found a new place to rent in Booysens Park, which she said was very difficult.

“I don’t understand how people, who were given RDP houses, are allowed to sell them to other people for a profit, when the government was providing the houses for free,” she said.

When contacted for comment, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality referred this journalist to a media statement, which it released on Thursday, concerning illegal RDP occupations in Missionvale.

“People who are illegally occupying government subsidised houses (RDP Houses) be warned as Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is coming for you,” Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications Officer, Mthubanzi Mniki, said in the statement.

“As informed by the community, the Task Team has identified the issue of housing beneficiary management, corruption and manipulation of the housing system as the major causes of housing delivery challenges in the Missionvale area.

“These issues have resulted in a number of government subsidies (RDP houses) being occupied by illegal occupants, one person owning more than one house and people who were approved for those house continue to stay in shacks,” he added.

The Task Team’s most urgent task will reportedly be to evict the illegal occupants.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s housing waiting list is currently estimated to have over 38 000 people.

While the RDP programme says that a beneficiary “shall not sell or otherwise alienate his or her dwelling or site within a period of eight years”, there is currently no punishments stipulated in the Housing Act, against unscrupulous beneficiaries who sell their houses on online classifieds boards.