Gauteng Provincial Government fails to provide dignified houses for hostel residents

Issued by Kate Lorimer MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements and COGTA
24 Oct 2019 in Press Statements

Gauteng hostel residents across the province continue to live in appalling conditions; their pleas for dignified houses have been ignored by the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG).

Millions have been spent on maintaining the hostels but there is nothing to show for the money spent as some of the building structures are old and dilapidated and can no longer be maintained.

According to the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements’ annual report for 2018/19 financial year, the department conducted maintenance on the six hostels it owns which are located in the Johannesburg CBD, namely; George Goch, Denver, Jeppe, LTA, MBA and Murray & Roberts hostels. The scope of the maintenance work includes the following; daily general cleaning, removal of refuse, plumbing and electrical maintenance.

However, according to the Auditor General’s (AG) report they were unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support the department’s claim that it has actually achieved its target of maintaining the above six hostels.

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This can be seen from the attached photos, the conditions in these hostels are appalling and not fit for human habitation.

These hostels are dirty, there is no regular refuse removal, and there are piles of waste throughout the hostels. There are also water leakages and sewer blockages.

Gauteng hostel residents are exposed to inhumane unsanitary and appalling living conditions.

I believe what the AG report is saying and its high time that the GPG eradicates the hostels altogether as they represent apartheid spatial planning. Hostels should be converted into family units so that the hostel residents can be offered dignified housing and access to basic services.

I will continue to put pressure on the GPG to deliver proper services and housing to hostel residents.