The Department of Human Settlements Annual Report an account of shameful governance

Issued by Solly Msimanga –
03 Dec 2019 in Speeches

Madame Speaker,

As a country we seem to have lost the important human value of shame. While shame is often looked down upon as negative in modern society, historically it is a human characteristic that has inspired change in behaviour, as well as pushed human beings to better themselves. It is unfortunate that in South Africa today that this value has been lost and appears to be completely absent within the ruling government. 

The Department of Human Settlements Annual Report for 2018/19 is an account of the most shameful governance. For those involved in the leadership and management of the department, such failures should weigh heavy on them. They should cast down their heads in shame for the fiasco that is their performance in the financial year 2018/2019.

Madame speaker, the report by the Auditor General indicates that what the department has presented in terms of their performance has been largely untruthful. The department has not been able to provide sufficient evidence that management has properly accounted for several functions, including transfer of payments, capital work in progress or giving sufficient evidence for compensation of employees.

Madame speaker, the auditor general found no evidence for the claim made by the department on:

  • transferring 9,755 post-94 properties to qualifying beneficiaries,
  • The number of new properties transferred to qualifying beneficiaries
  • Number of hostels maintained,
  • Number of housing disputes resolved.

The department received a disclaimer of audit opinion, but alas, despite this audit opinion, as is common in governments led by the ANC, consequences are not to be expected. What can we expect: blame shifting, excuses and obfuscation.

Madame speaker, the Gauteng City region is fast growing as millions of South Africans escape ANC’s failed governance in other provinces to get some semblance of a dignified life in the economic hub of the country. The government of this province is aware of the growing demand for housing as a result of the influx of migrants, whether from within our borders or outside. We see the mushrooming of informal settlements and the clashes between Gauteng residents over land, yet this department has still managed to underspend across all programmes exposing an unwillingness to deliver.

Underspending by this department raises questions over its financial planning ability. It raises questions on whether the department has the right personnel with the right qualifications to deliver on the mandate required by the citizens of this province.

The department blames some of its failures on illegal invasions and occupations. The department offers no solutions to dealing with this criminal conduct leading us to conclude that it will be business as usual for the ANC to turn a blind eye to unlawful behaviour

Madame speaker, the value of shame, is most valuable when there are consequences for one’s actions. The AG was unable to find any appropriate audit information that disciplinary steps were taken against officials who had incurred irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in previous reporting periods. 

Asking the leadership of this department whether it has any sense of shame would be rhetorical as the AG’s findings provides us with a clear answer that it does not. What about the Premier of this province? Does he look at the performance of this department with pride?

Gauteng residents should see through the performance by department of Human settlements that the offer from theANC government is zero delivery, zilch accountability and dololo consequences for failure.