Department’s under delivery on targets could have housed 80,000 South Africans
15 October 2015
The Department of Human Settlements (DoHS) Director General, Mr Mbulelelo Tshangana, revealed this week, in Parliament, that only 95 000 of the planned target of 112 600 houses were delivered, leaving 17 000 houses undelivered and 63 000 people without decent housing. A further 17,000 people were left unhoused when the Department wasted R775 million on rectifying houses they had previously built improperly, this amount could have built 4,700 new houses.
In the past 21 years, the DoHS has chronically under delivered on its mandate to deliver durable and dignified houses. The under delivery of houses is most likely attributable to shoddy financial management within the DoHS leading to a depleted budget but nowhere near enough houses being delivered.
I will therefore request the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), Themba Godi, to summon both the Minister of Home Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu and Mr Tshangana to reveal their remedial actions in order to fulfill the ongoing shortage of housing in South Africa and the reasons from such discrepancies in the money spent and the lack of targets met. SCOPA is empowered to do so to ascertain whether all the correct processes were followed and consistent with the PFMA.
The Minister and her Department must also account for why they are repeatedly under-delivering despite having enough money to provide settlements where necessary. The existing housing policy still does not cater adequately for those in the “gap” market, with incomes too low for a bond, and too high for a free house. We need to reform policy and cut red tape if this sector is to deliver on its mandate.