Fraud leads to new housing list

2014-02-17 00:00

RAMPANT fraud and corruption in the rental housing list, including a municipal official placing a number of relatives on the list, has resulted in the Msunduzi council’s executive committee resolving to scrap the current list and start afresh.

DA Exco member Mergan Chetty initially objected to the proposal, telling officials that nullifying the current list meant that people who had been waiting for 10 years to get a house might have to wait even longer.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said they could not rely on the old list because it had been handled by junior officials in the municipality. “We had an official placing his relatives, uncles, aunts and sisters on the old list,” said Nkosi.

The deputy municipal manager of corporate services, Dr Ray Ngcobo, said the current list was fraught with fraud and corruption. It was therefore necessary to draw up a new list. The process would involve verifying that all people on the list qualify for housing before allocations are made.

Ngcobo said this was because people’s financial circumstances could have changed in the years their names remained on the old list. “You will find that some people who had applied 10 years ago no longer need these rental stocks,” he said.

Ngcobo said the housing administration unit had been running a waiting-for-rental-housing list since 1990. “The system that runs the waiting list is an old database system. When the system was created, no security was built into the computer programme, which makes it susceptible to fraud,” he said.

A report on the matter presented to the committee states that the hardware that houses the system is outdated and malfunctioning. This would also need to be upgraded to handle the new list.

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