Waiting list for RDP houses swells to 1.2 million in Gauteng

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Lebogang Maile. Photo: File
Lebogang Maile. Photo: File


The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements is battling with a backlog of more than 1.2 million RDP housing applications which have been on the waiting list since 1996.

This was revealed by Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Lebogang Maile in a written reply to DA’s questions tabled in the provincial legislature.

Maile said the waiting list came into effect in 1996 after the approval of the housing development white paper.

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He said that between 1996 and 2000 there were 256 651 people on the waiting list and in 2001 to 2010 there were 310 637 and from 2011 to 2022 there were 696 372 people who were on the housing waiting list.

Maile said:

We are currently producing an average of 10 000 housing units per financial year against a backlog of 1.2 million. It is in the interests of the department to deplete the housing backlog.

“However, there are various factors that contribute to the housing backlog such as the budget, migration and the availability of habitable land for construction to name a few,” Maile said.

Maile said taking into consideration the big variance between the backlog and the delivery trend, the department had revised its housing allocation policy to explicitly prioritise those that had applied between 1996 and 2000.

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“The department, through its development planning units, identified all townships with outstanding township establishment milestones and there is a medium term expenditure framework plan to eradicate this backlog. In 2022/23 the department plans to finalise opening of registers for 58 townships across the province, releasing 6 067 properties to be considered for title deed registration,” he said.

Mervyn Cirota, the DA Gauteng shadow MEC for Cogta, said residents desperate for dignified housing will continue to be exposed to terrible living conditions because of this department’s failure to timeously deliver houses:

The numbers on the housing waiting list will continue to grow instead of being reduced. Some people on the housing waiting list have died while still waiting for houses, and those that are alive have lost hope that they will be allocated houses.

“The small percentage of houses handed out over five years indicates the incompetency of the current government to relieve the poor residents of this province from suffering.

“Of the 53 954 houses completed in 2017, only 10 830 were allocated from 2019 to the 2021/22 financial year,” Cirota said.

Cirota said the long wait for housing needs to come to an end.

“This department has for years registered housing beneficiaries and raised their hopes while it knows that it will not deliver on its promises. The DA demands that MEC Maile fast tracks the allocation of houses as he owes it to the people of Gauteng to fix this mess and reduce the housing backlog,” he said.

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