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'Illegal occupation of RDP houses in Buffalo City Metro a ticking time bomb'

Oct 24, 2018
'Illegal occupation of RDP houses in Buffalo City Metro a ticking time bomb'

The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements needs to come clean and state clearly what investigation, if any it will be conducting into alleged illegal occupation of 116 houses by residents in Vergenoeg, East London, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says.

"A parliamentary response from then Eastern Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Mlungisi Mvoko, reveals that no formal investigations have taken place to verify whether the correct beneficiaries have occupied the houses," said Sanele Magaqa - DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Human Settlements.

"The illegal occupation of RDP houses in the Eastern Cape is a ticking time bomb. In many cases, the original beneficiaries of RDP houses are left homeless while strangers take up residency in their homes.

"The Department continues to fail residents in Buffalo City Municipality by failing to deal with the illegal occupancy of RDP houses."

New strategies needed to address illegal RDP house occupation

Magaqa said that the relevant beneficiaries have been on the beneficiary master list since the 2013/14 financial year.

"Delays in providing beneficiaries with adequate housing are blamed on political unrest in the ward, challenges with ensuring credible beneficiary administration and delays in the approval of general plans for the project," he described.

"The response also reveals that construction of the houses is not yet complete.

"If the Department is serious about eradicating illegal housing occupation in the province, new strategies are required in order to speed up the process of completing the construction of houses and handing them over to the correct beneficiaries."

Magaqa said that the right to have access to adequate housing is enshrined in Section 26 of the Constitution.

"The ruling party cannot continue denying our people the dignity of owning a home."

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