The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is alarmed by reports that the province will no longer receive any additional Human Settlements funding to deal with the devastation caused by recent flooding in the province.
This was confirmed after a national parliamentary Human Settlements portfolio committee held yesterday. The decision comes after more than 14 000 homes were damaged and destroyed during last months’ heavy downpour and while many people are still living in deplorable temporary accommodation.
The decision by national government means that KZN Human Settlements MEC, Jomo Sibiya, and his Department will have to reprioritise the existing budget in order to find approximately R922 million needed to deal with the extensive damage in the province.
This raises the very serious question of how the MEC and his Department will do so while still addressing KZN’s massive housing backlog.
The DA is extremely concerned about the knock-on effect of this on KZN’s people. There can be no doubt that it is going to heavily impact on the Department’s ability to deliver on its mandate.
Further questions which require clarity, include:
- How will the reprioritisation of funds take place?
- How many projects will be put on hold or delayed?
- Which projects will this affect and;
- Which programmes will receive reduced funding as a result of this outcome.
There are currently thousands of people in our province who are waiting for houses of their own – some for as many as 20 years. With the current backlog of 100 years, most will never achieve this dream.
Then there are the protest actions relating to housing backlogs and corruption and delays around title deeds in KZN. These will only escalate given the current funding crisis.
The DA will be writing to MEC Sibiya in order to get answers on behalf of the people of our province. They can no longer be failed by this Department. We will continue to ask the hard questions and to fight for the right to dignity in the form of housing.