The waiting list for RDP housing in Tshwane has not only been corrupted but is opaque, which is and partly to blame for the backlog of more than 200 000 RDP houses due by the City of Tshwane.
Along with this housing backlog – and possibly due to it – the capital has seen 180 informal settlements mushrooming. This has been used as a reason to allocate houses to beneficiaries who do not appear on the waiting list.
The Tshwane member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for housing and human settlements, Mandla Nkomo, said when the DA-led administration took office, they realised the waiting list for RDP housing contained the names of several very young people, which immediately set off alarm bells.
“People as young as 19 and 21 years were on the same waiting list as those who applied for housing in 1996. This is clearly a sign of corruption, and a diversion from the original waiting list. You cannot have a person who was born in the ’80s on the same waiting list as those who applied for housing in 1996,” Nkomo said.
The RDP, a socio-economic policy framework, was implemented by the ANC under late former president Nelson Mandela in 1994. Nkomo said it is important for city residents to note that the city can only build 3 500 houses in each financial year.
He said the DA-led administration had been trying to clean the list of corruption and to make it as transparent as possible. Two years ago they raised the issue of the waiting list with the minister of human settlements and housing of the time, Lindiwe Sisulu, while the department also voiced their concerns.
“We wanted them to allow the city to publish the waiting list to be transparent and so that communities can have a clear view of where their names on the list was, but nothing came of it.
“This would be a way to help rid the list of all corruption,” Nkomo said.
He said the former ANC administration in most cases also ignored the waiting list and, instead of giving housing to the real beneficiaries, they moved people from informal settlements into RDP houses.
Informal settlements bring about their own set of irregularities, he said. For instance, you will find that a man from Limpopo already owns an RDP house in his hometown, but because he lives in an informal settlement in Tshwane due to work migration, he benefits when the entire informal settlement is moved into houses, leaving the ones on the waiting list still out in the cold.
Nkomo said that to stamp out corruption and make sure the right beneficiaries were on the waiting list, a Joint Allocation Committee had been established, which would remove inappropriate names.
“We need to take care of our senior citizens and disabled people first. Young people should go to schools and one day build their own houses,” Nkomo said.
According to him, the city would start with the roll-out of serviced stands in Mabopane, Gatsebe, Kapanong, Rama City, Zithobeni, Refilwe and Hammanskraal.
“Some of these projects are continuing from the previous financial years and some will start in the 2018/19 financial year.
“There are 4 778 stands that are nearing completion this year and some will be completed next year,” Nkomo said.
The city is planning four rental structures with 3 185 units. These are the Townlands Social Housing Project, Chantelle Ext 39, Timberlands Social Housing and the Sunnyside Apartments social housing project.