Sanco calls for housing MEC’s head

2011-01-21 00:00

THE South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco) has joined other KZN organisations in calling for KZN Human Settlement and Public Works MEC Maggie Govender to go.

This week the national department of Human Settlement announced it was taking R200-million from the KZN department’s R2,7 billion conditional housing grant because it under-performed in delivering subsidised housing for the poor of KZN.

The other ANC alliance organizations in the province, trade union Cosatu, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the ANC Youth League, called on premier Zweli Mkhize to remove Govender from the portfolio after this announcement.

Commenting on the R200 million, Sanco national spokesperson Dumisani Mthalane said: “This is outrageous and should not be tolerated. Those who have failed the people of KwaZulu-Natal should go…

“Sanco believes that all elected leaders who fail to deliver to the people contribute to the anger in communities which result in the so-called service delivery protests.” Mthalane said Sanco was seeking a meeting with the premier on the issue. “We also want to know how many housing units Ms Govender has delivered since she took over and what she has done to help assist hundreds of families that have been displaced by the current floods.”

Acting spokesperson for Govender, Sureshinee Govender shifted the blame for the loss of the R200 million, saying the department was unable to use a portion of its conditional grant for projects that it has approved and budgeted for.

“This is a consequence of primarily bulk infrastructure, land release and environmental issues. These are issues over which the KZN department of Human Settlements has very little control.”

Govender listed delays in the planning approval process; land, bulk infrastructure and environmental issue; poor performance of some implementing agents and general lack of capacity within some municipalities as major reasons behind the department’s under-performance.

She said 15 574 houses were built from April 2010-December 2010 from the target of 16 596 for the 2010/11 financial year, which is 94% performance to date.

She said the Department anticipates meeting this target by the end of the financial year in March.

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