Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Provincial Leader, Solly Msimanga MPL, and the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements and COGTA, Mervyn Cirota MPL, along with the DA Sedibeng Caucus Leadership conducted oversight inspections at the incomplete housing projects at the Kwa-Masiza hostel community residential units, and the Boiketlong incomplete housing project, in the Emfuleni Local Municipality.
We were appalled to discover the current status of the incomplete residential units at Kwa-Masiza hostel, where the housing units have been vandalised. Windows have been left broken, while the floor and wall tiles have been stripped off and stolen. The doors, sinks and the cupboards have also been stolen.
This is one of many incomplete housing projects across the province that have been left deserted and vandalised, yet our people are in desperate need of housing.
Hostel residents across the province continue to live in appalling conditions, while their pleas for dignified housing having fallen on deaf ears, which is unacceptable.
The beneficiaries of the Kwa-Masiza hostel community residential units have been living in inhuman and unsanitary conditions while waiting for the completion of the newly built housing units. The dire situation of these residents is a big concern for the DA.
The DA has also learnt that the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements had spent at least R46 million in the 2012/13 financial year to convert the Kwa-Masiza hostel in Sebokeng into community residential units. The project still remains incomplete and vandalised.
The contractors and the security services abandoned the site in 2019 due to non-payment and now the site has become a target for vandalism.
The DA has on several occasions warned the department that unnecessary delays in completing housing projects and the allocation of housing units to the rightful beneficiaries once the project has been completed, would result in illegal occupation of the houses.
Based on previous experience, the longer the housing projects remain incomplete and unoccupied, the more likely they will become targets for illegal occupants, vandalism, and corruption.
The other blocks at the hostels have severe structural damages which poses a safety risk to the occupants. The hostel lack regular proper maintenance and refuse collection, resulting in a dirty environment and a health hazard.
The Boiketlong housing project which is part of the Gauteng Mega Housing Project was meant to build 7000 housing units but has been left incomplete, with only 72 units completed and allocated.
The housing waiting list in this province has exceeded a million, clearly indicating a major housing crisis. There are high expectations that the department should be ensuring that housing projects are completed on time and within the allocated budget. This is not happening as residents continue to suffer with no proper accommodation.
The DA’s plea to the department to make public the provincial housing waiting has been ignored, making it difficult to assist in identifying the residents who have long been on the waiting list but have not yet benefited. It was also going to eliminate corruption by identifying those that have benefitted and are not on the waiting list.
The DA will table questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to the MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile to ascertain when will these two projects are going to be completed, how much has been spent so far, and how much budget is left.
We will continue to put pressure on MEC Maile to ensure that these projects are completed and the rightful beneficiaries are allocated to the housing units as soon as the projects are completed.