Housing: Fixing RDP homes would flatten 2012/13 budget

2012-04-16 00:00

IF every shoddily built house in KwaZulu-Natal had to be rebuilt, the entire 2012/13 housing budget would be depleted and the work still wouldn’t be finished.

So says the MEC for Human Settlements, Ravi Pillay. He told the finance committee on Friday that the rectification of poorly constructed RDP houses would have to be a multi-year programme.

He said the project was very costly and the numbers were huge. For example, in Msunduzi Municipality alone 1 800 houses were being assessed.

The finance committee, in its Human Settlements budget hearing, was given an idea of the pitfalls in the provisioning of housing. A big part of the problem was that most municipalities did not have a place where residents could apply for a house and be put on a waiting list.

Former KZN Human Settlements MEC Maggie Govender said she believed this was why there was a proliferation of informal settlements. She also believed municipalities were not doing enough to control the mushrooming of informal settlements.

Her response came after standing committee for public accounts chairperson, K.K. Nkosi, queried why so many shacks had recently been built near the revamped KwaMashu Hostel.

Pillay agreed that there needed to be engagement with municipalities around the issue of informal settlements.

The solution required a greater in-depth understanding of the dynamics of informal settlements, like the role of shack lords and what role business interests played.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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