Foreigners in RDP houses upset locals

2011-01-25 20:29

Pretoria - People tend to revolt against RDP houses being occupied by foreign nationals who buy them from locals, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday.

"We want to warn locals that much as government does everything to ensure people's basic needs are met, they should not willy-nilly sell them [RDP houses] so we avoid such attacks on foreign nationals," said Mthethwa.

He was speaking to journalists in Pretoria, shortly after his meeting with United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Jorge Bustamante.

He highlighted the importance of all South Africans understanding that co-operation was needed to curb attacks on other nationals, including valuing what government gave to them.

Mthethwa reiterated that South Africa was not xenophobic by nature. Incidents where people were burning and looting were considered criminal activities, nothing else.

Value what government gives

"Foreign nationals buy these houses from locals and they in turn become both residential and business premises at the same time.... People must value what government gives them."

On Monday, Gauteng Local Government MEC Humphrey Memezi announced that foreign-owned businesses in the Freedom Park informal settlement would remain closed pending the outcome of a provincial government investigation.

He said there would be a two-week investigation by a task team into issues such as "the legality of documents to operate businesses, the occupation of RDP houses and whether there was proper zoning from the municipality before the building of shops".

Media reports last month said foreign business owners in the Freedom Park informal settlement were forced to shut their shops after being threatened by local rivals.

Memezi has met with local business owners and community members in that area.


Five people were arrested over the weekend for instigating violence against the foreign business owners.

Tensions between local and foreign businesses peaked in December after the local spaza owners accused foreign owners of putting them out of business by selling their goods at lower prices.

Mthethwa indicated that because of the country's economy, there would always be people from the region coming in.

"What's important is to be able to co-operate and be able to live together with everybody else."

Meanwhile, Bustamante will be meeting with various NGOs and departments including home affairs, correctional services and social development to, like with Mthethwa, discuss issues relating to xenophobia.

Bustamante would not comment in-depth on the issue in the South African context, saying he would do so at a later stage.

"It is not customary that I make reference to what I have heard, until the very end of my stay."

  • Dave - 2011-01-25 20:53

    You give something for free, it will never be valued

      enjay.1014 - 2011-01-26 13:50

      @Dave, so true, fully agree.

      Mo_Afrika - 2011-01-26 17:14

      for once i agree, the problem is its killing tax payers. people wanted freedom now they protest for free services and they give the services away, yet tax payers burst themselves every morning to make a living...jerr man when do people learn to do for themselves. I do not care if its ANC, DA, COPE, ID or IFP delivering services. I think its time we all stood up and earn our leaving. Freedom is way more than a person can ask for, hence everything else is not valued...

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-02-10 21:01

      Simply make it illegal to sell the property for a period of 10 years. If a property still gets sold the buyer can be evicted immediately. Put that into law and make it known. THe prospective buyers will need to have proof that the property can be sold legally before the transaction passes. This is easily solved this way. The registrar can verify if the property is an RDP house and when it was build and registered for the first time. Problem solved.

  • lldoidge - 2011-01-25 20:56

    Ja right so blame the poor foreigners. It's the fat lazy locals that want to rip off the poor that are the problem. The foreigners have shown the poor how the locals have been ripping them off for years and they don't like it.

      Max - 2011-01-27 09:38

      Where do they (foreigners) get the money from.....drugs, fraud and illegal stuff. Ja, they are not lazy,

  • helizna - 2011-01-25 21:32

    are these foreigners entrepreneurs? do they provide services and bring money and local jobs into their areas? are they being pro-active to work themselves out of the township and into a nicer area? are they working hard to make money so their children can go to better schools? those showoffs!

      pierreedge - 2011-01-26 16:47

      probably, since they made enough money to buy the house in the first place. Do you think sometimes before asking questions?

  • Thabani - 2011-01-25 21:54

    We South Africans just need everything at no cost. If people are made to build their own houses, it would be difficult for someone to sell that house to foreigners. Foreigners are not the problem, but we are the problem because we are very lazy, and just need free things from government. People are allocated RDP houses by the government, them move out and let the house to foreigners. Surely you cannot blame the government or foreigners. Its simple, these so called foreigners are marrying our brothers and sisters here. They are now part of the family. Its better to embrace them because trying to alienate them will not work. The problem is we South Africans are bitter because most of these foreigners are successful in whatever they do. A recent study of students undergoing Phd studies in our Universities showed that only 30% were South Africans and 70% were foreigners. This clearly shows that we are always behind. We should learn from these foreigners irrespective of how poor their nations are compared to SA. SA has more to gain by learning from other African countries.

      James - 2011-01-26 13:27

      Very true thabani, we always cry foul when we are to blame. Who is selling the RDP houses to foreigners (SOUTH AFRICANS). Who is giving South African IDs to foreigners (SOUTH AFRICAN). Who is giving opportunities for jobs to foreigners (SOUTH AFRICAN) So surely is pathec to cry foul when these people progresses at our expense. A lot of small to medium size businesses in South Africa is run by these people except taxis where we are killing each other like flies.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-01-26 13:36

      Damn straight! The big problem here is envy! South Africans are being left behind because of their 'its my right' attitude. Everywhere from the townships and informal settlements to the posh suburbs... everyone wants everything for nothing and we just demand. Rather than increasing our productivity on every level we want it handed to us; the exchange rate fiddled with; wage increases without deserving it, etc. We're like locusts!

      Mo_Afrika - 2011-01-26 17:25

      u closed my mouth...true and true. we always try to make powerful statements and say this party is not deliveryng and this one is suitable, yet the problem lies within the people. Azanians just want to reciecve and recieve and not do not to metion give. unfortunately it is killing even the working class that is also trying to make a change. I really am out of words.

      Patience - 2011-01-26 20:16

      Mo, our people have been promised free decent housing, electricity, water etc since the first democratic election. With every election those promises were repeated - thats why Azanians just want to receive and receive.

      Ockert - 2011-04-29 07:44

      So Patience - its right to receive a free house and sell it, and jump up and down for another one ??

  • GURUnology - 2011-01-26 08:30

    I thought ppl are not allowed to sell their RDP houses, How did they buy them_i dont have a problem with the guys in our townships, the sell cheap stuff, Almost the same as what you would get in shops lyk shoprite. I once found this other 1 using a copy from shoprite to adjust prices in his shop. Which is gud, thts how u kill competition. South Africa should learn to compete as wel. They shouldnt rush to get rich. Who ever is sellng his RDP house should be arested. If they do not need the house anymore they should take back to the department to given to someone else.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-01-26 13:47

      You are not allowed to sell an RDP house within the first 9 years. After that you are allowed to legally sell as any owner of property would be able to. If its a problem they need to change the law. Doesn't help to now target the poor foreigners who are just trying to get ahead in life. At least they bought the place and didn't just profit on it. They should look into these owners though who are selling the houses? Why do they no longer need it? Were they deserving of the house in the first place? If the person's circumstances have really changed for the better they should sell it back to the housing dept so that it can be given to another deserving family. But you can't enforce any of these things unless you change the laws first and do the admin. Too many people in the cities own property in the rural areas and get given RDP houses. I wish I had a holiday home! RDP homes should be for those who have nothing and who have small children. They shouldn't be going to work migrants who can afford to rent or buy regular houses. Private developers need to start providing entry-level houses of decent quality. There is so much money to be made for those who can pull this off.

      AJ - 2011-02-02 07:55

      @Snoopy88 - As with most things the law is simply not enforced. many of thee problems are simply because people have no respect for the law, and authorities are loathed to enforce them. And then people wonder why places are lawless.

  • Darwinian - 2011-01-26 09:47

    "People tend to revolt against RDP houses being occupied by foreign nationals who buy them from locals...." Now whose problem is that?

  • Snoopy88 - 2011-01-26 13:26

    Ag shame... Typical of this government - everything gets done backwards. Look either you rent RDP houses out to the poor or you give them the house. As owners its their right to sell or to rent it out as they please. You can't have it both ways! Pass a law then which limits non-citizens from owning property in SA, or specifically RDP houses. The bigger problem is all the housing officials who seem to own a few RDP houses that they sell off or rent out. That's illegal - deal with that first!

      The-man-who - 2011-01-26 13:52

      @Snoopy88, these RDP houses are meant for people who can't afford to build themselves houses. These people sell the RDP houses provided by the government for free then start another squater camp and then they cry foul saying the government is not looking out for them whilst they sold the government provided RDP houses for free. I agree with what you are saying about government officials, all I need is a chance to audit the human settlement department and all the RDP houses that were built from the RDP inception till now so that I can report on all the corruption our own people who claim to have our interest at heart are doing within our beloved country. South Africa has the potential to be a 1st world economic country but corruption is killing the umph to reach that potential. - 2011-01-26 16:43

      I agree with what your are saying snoopy, but if government should pass a law stating foreigners cannot buy RDP houses, then the law should also state foriegners cannot buy houses in general in South Africa. Europeans buy houses in cape town prestige areas in a massive scale. That would be discriminatory because we all know that Europeans are not interested in RDP houses.

      Mo_Afrika - 2011-01-26 17:29

      greedy & inconsiderate. the more this continue, the more taxes are killing.

      Skottie - 2011-01-26 17:52

      @206025130: How do you come to the conclusion that it is discriminatory if the government will pass a law against selling an RDP house to a foreigner but not a prestige house? The prestige house is bought by a wealthy person from someone similarly wealthy. RDP houses are GIVEN to POOR people for FREE to allow them to live in a brick house. Those RDP houses should remain for the poor South Africans ... if they don't want to live in a brick house then why do they accept the gift in the first place??? Government should put something in place where the house must remain your property for at least 2 years afterwhich you can then sell it back to the government if you want to and can move onto something better, fullstop!

      Skottie - 2011-01-26 17:58

      the Goverment can then allocate that house to another poor family in despirate need of a house!

  • SEMATSATSA - 2011-01-26 13:38

    Easy come,Easy go.

  • Pragmatist - 2011-01-26 13:41

    Well if you dont earn it, you dont value it. It is an unfortunate problem in Africa, lots of give and take, but no growth

  • Worldwise - 2011-01-26 14:44

    I know of a woman that has a house in the Ciskei. She now lives in Cape Town and demands an RDP house. This is the case many times over. When these people get the RDP house they sell it, move to another area and demand another RDP house. She has about 5 ID Books with different names in them. Many of these people have several ID books. She says the whites will not understand her family culture and bonds and due to these she is entitled to more than one ID book. Time for the Home Affairs department to be sorted before any other thing can be sorted.

      Kenko - 2011-01-27 09:32

      And when will that happen you think?

      AJ - 2011-02-02 07:58

      It's not getting sorted - ever.

  • Ritmas Xitsavi - 2011-01-26 15:12

    i think the goverment need to put a clause that a free RDP is not for sale it belongs to goverment for period of 199 year(lease hold) and if some one sell the rdp can be sentenced for a minimum ten years in prison

  • AjaxFiko - 2011-01-26 15:33

    It's not always the locals who sell the RDP houses. The housing officials cancel out the locals' names and sell the houses to foreigners for R8000 or less, I've seen it happen and it's still happening. . . It's government officials that are mainly responsible for the handing out of keys of the RDP houses and they switch names to ensure that they profit from the houses. Government is corrupt to the core! I've witnessed this first hand!

      AJ - 2011-02-02 08:00

      Voting patterns indicate the majority is happy with this though.

  • Lawrence - 2011-01-26 15:54

    Reminds me of the old National party regime, when they supplied subsidised housing for their low income supporters, we called these development suburbs tiekie towns – The poor owners tempted by more money than they had ever gathered before in their lifetime promptly started selling these houses to richer more savvy owners who improved the sites to values again beyond the reach of the low income groups. Sadly to say the riches the previous poor sellers acquired through the initial sale was quickly squandered on booze and other unsound investments, necessitating the government to impose non selling time clauses on the title deeds and purchase contracts (Could be a solution).

  • Mo_Afrika - 2011-01-26 17:28

    this is really boring...nxa, this makes me wonder how many people asked for clothes on your door step and sell them only to spend the money on booze or glue and drugs????????????

  • Mo_Afrika - 2011-01-26 17:32

    i think the government should rather concentrate more on building schools and providing learning materials and health facilities since no one will sell without being exposed easier. hopefully people will see that going to school will gain them the houses they need from their hard work. Even so, shools will be for everyone, not for families that keeps on making kids and each one of them demanding houses.

  • Reality - 2011-01-26 20:03

    I have pondered over why so many people expect to get things for free. And believe they have rights to things they want. Look at the history of all African countries. Expectations are created leading up to elections. All sorts of promises are made. Some people really believe that if they vote for a certain party they will have a chicken in the pot every day of the year. Some really believ they will be "given" houses. When these things don't happen the trouble starts and we read about "service delivery protests and marches etc", but in reality they should be called "unfulfilled election promises protests and marches". You see , the government of the day cannot deliver because all the money the tax payers cough up is being stolen or spent on the wrong things. So poor people, you are unlikely to read this, but I hope someone tells you. Don't believe all the promises that are made before elections. You are not going to get anything because the guys who have access to the money are taking it for themselves. It is ok to switch your loyalty when you realise your loyalty has been misplacedThink before you vote again.

  • Francois - 2011-01-26 21:43

    Minister Mthetwa, I disagree with your statement on South African not being xenophobic. The previous President of the ANC said that if white people were killed, he would call it xenophobia and white people are being killed. Thus according to the party that you so blindly serve, you are xenophobic. Having said that, Deputy President Mothlanthe asked: "From where did you get the idea of free houses for all?" Thus it appears as if once again you were not informed or the Deputy President is not (Don't you guys talk to one another when you visit the State President on finding new ways to keep him out of the court?). Let's give you the benefit of the doubt in that the Deputy President is ill informed, because I can remember the jobs for the jobless, power for the powerless, homes for the homeless, showers for the showerless, snookertables for the snookertableless election promises. The fact is you must advocate that once you have your RDP house, you have been liberate ito property, if you want to sell it and lives in a shack and booze away the money, its okay, but you will not get another one, or government should simply get the foreigners out of the RDP houses and back to Zim etc, especially Zim, according to the previous previous president there is no problem in Zim, so why are they buying RDP houses. Stand up for justice in SA, please minister or did you have to hand in your balls to become a minister?

  • David - 2011-01-27 08:26

    I grew up in so called "communist country", I have lived all over the world, yet South Africa is the first country I know of, that is handing out free houses. It is common, that those who don't have, get free accommodation, be it for couple of months or life. However, why give a house to some, so the can sell it latter? If the don't need free accommodation, the house should go back to the gov. and shall be given to other needy family.

  • mositoa - 2011-01-27 09:54

    I really don't understand why people are given the RDP houses the next they sell them.....its quite obvious that the system is corrupt, if u so deeply poorly looking for a house, would u still go out there and sell it.... It just dont make sense, or is it that these people are so in need of money that they dont want a decent house, they still wana leave emikhukhwini, hay abantu mara!!

  • pig - 2011-02-02 06:15

    They will put there name on the list to get another house!!!

  • anti crime - 2011-02-02 06:42

    I agree with comments made beneath by mo_Afrika, it's our money,why does govt keep milking the taxpayer....get real govt....hope u read these comments..but then agin...they will simply laugh it off at another R15 million party...incompetent crooks..

  • Brandon Europa - 2011-02-02 10:25

    That's when houses are given to people who already have houses. The government departments should do there research before giving houses to people who don't need them.

  • Anthony - 2011-03-04 20:49

    the whole problem is that the anc is fast losing black voters,mostly dying of aids and offcourse the constant killing of each other.that is why they have opened the borders and are giving them ids so they increase the volume of black voters.most,if not all these shanty towns that spring up over night are foreigners planted by the is it that there are no busloads of white zimbabweans,nigerians etcflocking here?speaking of that,i would be interested to see what would happen if busloads of whites were transported to black areas to vote there(tongue in cheeck comment)

      dannie.adams.752 - 2012-06-29 00:04

      It seems foreigners are living in paradise in our country. Recently it is alleged that officials of home affairs have invited foreigners to apply for South AFrican IDs whether they qualify for one or not. I do not have any problem with foreigners apply for IDs but it should be a legitimate process. But in this case it is rumoured that the ANC government is preparing foreigners for future elections as ANC supporters should they lose popularity at some point.It sounds like a scheme but you can not trust this government.

  • Anthony - 2011-03-04 21:10

    why is the minister of police talking about rdp houses.does he not have amore important task?to fire bheki cele or is he minister without a portfolio acting in the police ministry?

  • Meanleader - 2011-03-21 17:07

    Yes , check the zoning of foreign properties , and leave all the thousands of illegal spaza shops alone . SA needs to give each benificiary two houses so they can sell one to a foreigner . ANC Capitalism !!! Steal to sell !!!

  • Kim - 2011-04-29 08:31

    I think the biggest mistake the government has made with these RDP houses is to give them away for nothing. These houses should remain government property. There are many people who have been working for a lifetime and have never been able to afford their own home and here these people who have never worked a day in their lives, own their own homes. Unless you have worked for something, you can never appreciate it!!

  • AllHoliday - 2011-05-17 09:38

    When giving people a RDP house government can easily ensure that people do net sell the property by putting a ban on it in the title deed. If you get an RDP house, it stays in your family. What is happening now, is that people get a house and then sell it and then again complain that they do not have a home.

  • galmzala - 2012-06-28 09:29

    Black South Africans are manipulating, during aparteid they didnt sell the houses that were allocated to them because they knew there will be consiquences jail and punishment. now democratic government is trying to please them they manipulate the situation, and the government employees they are doing this because they are boss is black and when the boss try to disciplene them they will say ooh now because you are in that position you think you are better than us, all those people who are selling RDP Houses and the owner who are also selling the house must punished big time,

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