Recent events at the Siyahlahla-la housing project in Newcastle have again shown what the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been saying all along – that KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Human Settlements has no control over housing projects in the province. This after violence erupted within the local community.
The DA firmly believes that the ongoing issue of invasion of houses built by the Department has its roots in the failure to ensure transparent allocations.
Regrettably, the lack of a clear, easily accessible housing list is only the start of the many large problems the Department is currently facing. Linked to this is the lack of communication with local communities, leading to false information, rumours and half-truths being spread which in turn leads to house invasions and violence.
This already bad situation is worsened by rampant corruption within the Department itself, with the result that those who should not be receiving houses are being allocated them. Understandably, this has led to unhappiness within communities such as Siyahlahla-la.
The other piece of this puzzle of chaos is that there are no strong actions against those who invade houses. The ongoing untenable situation at Aloe Ridge in Pietermaritzburg is a prime example of how some individuals invade houses, simply because it is profitable for them. This cannot continue unchecked.
The DA will request that KZN’s Human Settlements portfolio committee conduct an urgent oversight inspection to Newcastle in order to get to the bottom of the situation at Siyahlahla-la.
In the interim, we call on Human Settlements MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni, to make good on her Department’s ongoing promises and commitments that KZN will implement an easily accessible, transparent housing list in order to counter corruption and allegations of corruption.
The DA remains committed to ensuring the many KZN citizens who are still waiting for houses are not simply forgotten by a government that does not care.