Madonsela told of city RDP woes

2012-07-26 00:00

PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela was greeted by a packed city hall in Pietermaritzburg yesterday and given a litany of complaints on RDP housing, water and electricity woes.

Madonsela was in the city as part of her programme of public dialogue, meeting citizens and listening to their problems.

Yesterday’s meeting was specifically about maladministration and non-delivery of RDP houses

She was touched by the story of a gogo who had lost her house to a debt collector because of an outstanding debt of R5 000. She said she would engage with the government to look at a rescue programme for people who were in such trouble.

Madonsela said there was no agency protecting such debtors and questioned the ease with which debt collectors could seize houses for outstanding debts, no matter how paltry the amount. Nobody wanted to lose their home like the gogo and in their old age to be left out in the streets.

Residents raised concerns that no RDP houses had been built in the Msunduzi area for some years and that housing lists seemed to be non-existent at city hall.

Zakhele Hlatshwayo spoke of Imbali residents with exhorbitant water bills, one as high as R500 000, despite the fact that no meters had been read in the area for years and in many cases the houses did not have meters.

He said the matter had been raised in the media and adminsitrator Sbu Sithole had said there should be a write-off. To date nothing had been done.

He asked what had happened to money allocated to fix the crumbling water infrastructure in the greater Edendale area.

Sanco national spokesperson Dumisani Mthalane raised the issue of the wirewall houses in Imbali where for more than two years residents have waited in unsuitable temporary accommodation or were forced to pay rent while their houses stood partly built with no water and electricity.

Madonsela spoke to MEC for Human Settlements Ravi Pillay, who said an investigation had been launched after Sanco had raised the issue.

The protector asked residents who had threatened rolling mass action if their problems were not addressed not to take this route.

“Let’s talk … I have told the organs of state that we must produce results and that it should not be the case that the only language we understand is the language of mass action,” she said.

Madonsela said she was engaging with Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay on the issue of the incomplete houses. The investigation had just been completed and the report advises on a way forward.

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