SCOPA agrees to probe HDA - ELP

DA MP says despite extensive budgets, the agenct has delivered little more than tin shacks and controversy

SCOPA agrees to probe Housing Development Agency

12 June 2021

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) has granted the DA’s request for an investigation into the failed Housing Development Agency (HDA) – whose work has been characterized by irregular tender awards, multi-million-rand contract extensions, and on-going political interference.

The DA requested this investigation in February after the Human Settlement’s Portfolio Committee declined to call HDA executives to account for their failures during the pandemic, opting rather to protect the ANC’s entity-linked cadres.

The HDA was appointed by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, to oversee the de-densification programme during the Covid-19 lockdown period. Hundreds of millions of Rands were allocated to this.

Despite theses extensive budgets, the HDA have delivered little more than expensive tin shacks and controversy.

While the Auditor General’s (AG) First Special Report on government’s Covid-19 initiatives highlighted many of these failures, the outcomes of the Entity’s most recent audit report are also cause for grave concern. This report revealed that the HDA’s financial control systems have almost entirely failed, with more than R 131 886 000 recorded in irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure – up from R 109 430 000 in the previous year.

Despite the extent of financial mismanagement and non-performance detailed in this report, the HDA was unable to provide the DA with any evidence of Section 65(b) Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) consequence management for senior executives.

This probe will hopefully complement serious investigations already being undertaken by law enforcement agencies on the basis of DA referrals last month.

Despite on-going threats, the DA will leave no stone unturned in demanding accountability from Minister Sisulu and the HDA’s executive management.

Issued by Emma Louise Powell, DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements, 12 June 2021