Human Settlements budget reduced by R600m – DA Gauteng

Mervyn Cirota says this was done despite fact that residents are desperate for dignified housing

Gauteng Human Settlements budget reduced by R600 million while residents are desperate for dignified housing

17 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes with great concern that the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements budget has been slashed by R600 million in the 2020/21 financial year.

This information was revealed in the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements’ adjusted budget report for the 2020/21 financial year.

The department’s budget has been drastically reduced from R5.7 billion to R5.1 billion because of a reduction of R598.2 million in conditional grants.

This includes R490,5 million from the Human Settlements Development Grant and R107.7 million from the Title Deeds Restoration Grant which has been surrendered to the Provincial Revenue Fund to be used for combating the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This budget reduction will have a severe impact on the department’s annual performance target plans such as Programme Three: Housing Development. The initial planned target with regards to the number of FLISP housing subsidies was 1000 and will be reduced to 100.

The number of non-credit linked individual disbursements to qualifying beneficiaries has been decreased from 270 to 200.

The number of hostels that will be redeveloped into family units has also decreased from 5 to 4 which will be one hostel in the City of Ekurhuleni and three hostels in the City of Johannesburg.

It is worrying that funds have been taken away from Housing Development while this province is facing a major housing crisis. The housing waiting list has exceeded a million, yet money has been taken away from this department.

This is unacceptable and clearly indicates that the ANC-led Gauteng Provincial Government cares little about ensuring that our people have access to adequate housing.

It is high time that government prioritises the delivery of dignified housing to our people who are living in unsanitary and congested areas to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DA will closely monitor how this department spends its adjusted budget as this department has a reputation of failing to spend its allocated budget.

Issued by Mervyn Cirota, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), 17 August 2020