House construction image

The North West Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Human Settlements has reprimanded the Department of Local Government and Human Settlements for a lack of progress in addressing various backlogs on housing projects.

The Portfolio Committee also cited poor management of beneficiary lists between the department and municipality which aimed at addressing housing challenges in Matlosana Local Municipality.

This came after the committee visited several housing projects in the Matlosana municipality, including the Matlosana Community Residential Units (CRU) and the Khuma and Kanana Housing Projects.

Chairperson of the Committee Motlalepula Rosho said the Portfolio Committee is worried that the Matlosana CRU project has been completed but remains a white elephant because the houses are still missing key elements not included in the tender, such as wardrobes and stoves.

In Khuma the blocked projects date back to 1999 and 2004 and have not been resuscitated. Some areas were found to be dolomitic and some houses were left at wall plate stage by contractors.

Housing Director at the Matlosana Local Municipality, Peter Phala, said there is a backlog of 376 houses and most owners of stands are sub-letting their stands, and have moved to townships making it difficult for the municipality to do audit on the beneficiary list.

Rosho said Extension 6 at Khuma is one of the first informal settlements after 1994, making it unacceptable for people to be still waiting for houses today.

She added that the committee is worried about the slow pace on housing projects in Kanana where there are nine contractors. “The contractors are not doing very well although they were given project extensions since 2013 to finish in 2016.”

Both the Khuma and Kanana housing projects experienced construction delays and challenges of identifying relevant beneficiaries during the time of construction.

 

Selecting beneficiaries

“We are concerned about how beneficiary lists are managed in municipalities and the department is not playing a role on cleaning up the lists and ensuring that the lists are verified and there are no delays,” said Rosho.

“The department and the municipality must go back to relook the system and ensure that those who receive houses are the right beneficiaries. We should ensure that we all comply, especially public representatives like ward councillors.”