Housing database to control illegal allocations to foreigners

2008-05-28 00:00

Cape Town — In a bid to stop corrupt local councillors from diverting housing allocations to foreigners who do not qualify, the government is to introduce compulsory adherence to the national housing demand database, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said yesterday.

Introducing debate on the Housing Budget vote, Sisulu said the demand database does not allow any municipality the right of allocation outside of the verified and audited database.

Referring to the recent spate of xenophobic attacks, Sisulu said that housing matters are “unjustifiably” featuring prominently in the debate on the issue. “… Apart from the immediate relief for the affected community, we have had to look at ensuring that this disaster does not ever befall us again,” Sisulu said.

Sisulu said the database and with the housing subsidy data will be monitored by an independent audit company who will report to Parliament on an annual basis.

“This will ensure that our processes are aligned to the necessary transparency and integrity required for universal acceptance. Our policy has been amended accordingly and provincial workshops are currently under way to ensure compliance,” she said.

Sisulu said allegations have been made that councillors are at the forefront of some corrupt practices to divert housing allocations to foreigners. “Last year the Auditor-General concluded a lengthy and exhaustive audit on the granting of housing subsidies to people who do not qualify …

He did not come across a single incident where a foreign national specifically was awarded a house. However, as we all know, it is true that some of our houses are occupied by foreign nationals. This could only mean that our people, the beneficiaries of these houses, have either sold them before the period of limitation has elapsed, or are renting them out.

“We have taken note of the concerns raised about housing allocations, and for our own comfort and the comfort of our citizens we have tightened our regulations to ensure that this is effectively addressed.”

Sisulu stressed that government’s allocations policy provides that houses are given to indigent SA citizens who meet the qualification criteria and are on waiting lists.

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