Honourable Chairperson and members
Outcome eight of the outcome-based performance approach that speaks to the mandate of the department adopted in January 2010, places responsibility on the part of the department to provide sustainable human settlements and improved quality living environment.
However, visiting ward 28 in Soweto on Sea in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) where houses were built pre-2010, you will find a totally different and devastating reality. This has resulted in the community launching a petition with the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature (ECPL).
These citizens are currently registered and counted as beneficiaries of Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses by the human settlements department, yet, their situation can best be described as a glorifie squatter camp.
In 2015, the NMBM human settlements department promised that the beneficiaries of the Zanemvula Priority Project would be temporarily removed to enable for the rectification programme to correct the defects.
Three years later, these poor citizens continue to live with graves as their neighbours with absolutely no space or hope for economic, social activities and inclusion. For them, to bury their loved one, they have to rely on facilities outside from where they reside.
Chairperson, many of the houses and settlements built between 1994 and 2010 are a far cry from the acceptable and current national policy, national norms and standards for housing and human settlements development.
In ward 28, our people are crammed in overcrowded and dysfunctional spaces of less than 100 square meters with regular service interruptions.
Chairperson, this department has to go back to basics. In this regard, we propose, that:
• The department should assess all the houses and settlements that were built between 1994 and 2010, and compare it to the current policy, norms and standards. It must evaluate whether they are consistent with outcome eight, which provides for sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life.
• In the event of discrepancies, as is the case with ward 28, the minister must make policy proposals, consistent with the rectification programme and other relevant legal pre-scripts, to elaborate a plan that the department can and will implement to rectify the anomalies.
• In this regard, the minister is invited to make ward 28 a pilot project. Accordingly, the minister should immediately contact the ECPL so that she may have access to the petition that carries the details of this challenge.
• As part of attending to this national challenge, the minister, together with her provincial counterpart, should consider making an urgent visit to this ward to see for themselves the real circumstances defining our people in a democracy. Please Minister, consider joining the ECPL during their Public Participation Week on the 28 of May to the 1st of June in NMBM.
Ward 28, is the epitome of a lack of broad national housing delivery goals, a lack of monitoring the financial and non-financial performance of provinces and municipalities. It also speaks to a lack of deliberate consultation with all the stakeholders in the housing delivery chain, including civil society and the private sector.