Ricochet News

'The elderly have not been forgotten in RDP housing allocations'

By Afikile Lugunya - May 24, 2018
'The elderly have not been forgotten in RDP housing allocations'

Following many, often violent, protests by Nelson Mandela Bay residents over housing, Tembakazi Hlela, a housing delivery official at the Metro's Human Settlements Department, explained how the distribution of houses under the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) works.

On Tuesday, she accompanied Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality MMC for Human Settlements, Nqaba Bhanga, to NU29 and NU30 where the Metro has rolled out a project to address the demand for housing in the Bay.

Residents have often complained that people, who registered to receive RDP houses soon after democracy in the late 90's - many of them are elderly now, seem to have been forgotten by authorities as they ofetn stand on the sidelines and wtach as homes are often allocated to people, who applied after them - usually their children's generation.

However, Hlela explained that around 60% of new RDP houses are given to residents in informal settlements and those, who registered long time ago are allocated 20% of the new homes.

Backyard dwellers allocated 10% of the new homes while the elderly and the disabled get 10% of the new houses.

She explained that the intentions of the RDP housing programme is a national project to eradicate informal settlements from South Africa and provide all citizens with dignified housing. Thus, initially all RDP homes were meant for residents living in informal settlements, but that has since changed over the years as evidenced above.

“The reason for such a reduction is to accommodate other people in various circumstances, such as those, who are renting or are staying with relatives.

“However, old people and disabled people are always a top priority,” she described.

Hlela further advised old people to come forward so that their situations can be assessed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Human Settlements Department.

She emphasised that people with disabilities are always urged to come forward to receive help.

“To all those that have special needs, while their cases are still being redirected, they have their subsidies.

“Those who applied in the 90s, after democracy to get houses not because they are old, well they are accommodated under the 20%,” Hlela said.