Cosatu applauds housing probe

2010-08-18 11:03

Johannesburg - Human Settlement Minister Tokyo Sexwale's probe of dodgy housing projects worth R2bn was exactly the sort of bold initiative honest South Africans had been calling for, Cosatu on Tuesday.

"The federation applauds the minister's determination to fight corruption, which he correctly says 'is so endemic in our country'," Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

Cosatu was particularly pleased that, through investigations, R44m had so far been recovered from provincial municipal officials since 2007 and that this would go back into the department's grants for service delivery.

"We are convinced that this will give hope and people will know that something is being done to expose corruption," Craven said.

The result of an investigation, ordered by Sexwale, into corruption in the housing sector was released on Monday.

A national audit task team examined 10 246 housing projects and identified 20 contracts, each worth R100m.

The team found that thousands of houses had been condemned because of poor workmanship. Some would have to be destroyed and others fixed at a cost of millions of rands.

In all, 1 910 government officials who unlawfully benefited from housing subsidies had been arrested and 1 297 of them prosecuted.

Cosatu said it was increasing resources into the investigation of all those who abused the housing system.

It warned all those who thought they could get away with robbing the poor and sabotaging the delivery of houses and services for their own self-enrichment that they were being watched and would not escape the law and the anger of the masses.