DA concerned over house unit allocation delays in Gauteng, calls on Maile to 'speed up process'

The Democratic Alliance (DA) have expressed its concern over the "unnecessary delays" in the allocation of housing units in various areas in the province and have called on Gauteng MEC for human settlements and cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta), Lebogang Maile to "speed up the process".

In a statement on Tuesday, DA MPL Mervyn Cirota said the process of allocating the housing units to the rightful beneficiaries needed to be sped up to avoid the units being illegally invaded and vandalised.

Cirota argued that the illegal occupants were costing the department more money due to legal fees for eviction processes and repairs for the damages.

"The completed housing units in Fleurhof, Johannesburg have been invaded and some units have been vandalised and are in the process of being repaired."

Last month, City of Johannesburg mayor Geoff Makhubo handed over more than 100 housing units to beneficiaries in Fleurhof, however, many people were left homeless, with several others camping overnight, following the evictions.

About 21,000 beneficiaries were expected to occupy the Fleurhof housing units.

Cirota highlighted that there were 342 housing units and 754 rental rooms that were invaded and occupied illegally at the Malibongwe Ridge project.

READ MORE: WATCH: Some get Fleurhof flats, others left homeless after Red Ants eviction

"There are also 230 housing units in Meadowlands and 34 units at Mzimhlophe in Orlando West Women's hostel that have been completed and are unoccupied.

"In Clayville Extension 45, Ward 1 and Extension 71, Ward 92 Tembisa the illegal occupants have occupied the houses. There are also allegations that government officials sold the houses."

The DA MPL further said the department needed ensure that no completed housing units were left unoccupied once the project was finished.

"The department should ensure that the verification of the rightful beneficiaries is done while the housing units' construction is at its final stage to avoid delays in the allocation process.

"The department should ensure that they adhere to the Gauteng housing allocation policy which seeks to ensure that the housing allocation process is implemented across all the housing programmes in a fair, equitable and transparent manner."

ALSO READ: Gauteng housing department admits failure

Cirota added that the DA would table questions to Maile to find out how many completed and unoccupied housing units the province has.

"Also on the reasons why they have not been allocated to the rightful beneficiaries and when will they be allocated and how much has been spent on repairs for those units that have been vandalised."

Meanwhile, Maile admitted on last Wednesday that his department was notoriously under-performing, failing to obtain clean audits and delivering on key targets.

Speaking on the department's turnaround strategy, Maile said it was unacceptable that the department has repeatedly underspent and failed to adequately respond to Gauteng's housing delivery needs.

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