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Leaders seek answers

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Thanduxolo Wili, Thembelani Ntlukaniso, Monwabisi Mapoma standing in front of one of the houses that has not yet been fixed by the Department of Human Settlement in Kuyasa.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi
Thanduxolo Wili, Thembelani Ntlukaniso, Monwabisi Mapoma standing in front of one of the houses that has not yet been fixed by the Department of Human Settlement in Kuyasa.PHOTO: mzwanele mkalipi

Community leaders are demanding answers about the Kuyasa Retrofit Project that has come to a halt.

The project was supposed to furnish 2 373 homes but they claim it has only enhanced 438 houses.

The leaders say this has caused some rift in the area. They are now calling on the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements to come and explain to the community.

Thanduxolo Wili, spokesperson for the South African Civics Organisation (Sanco), said the stop gave the community a bad impression about them as leaders.

“Where is the money to complete this project?

“The project was budgeted for R45 million over a three year period, and the reason/s for the stoppage was never explained to the beneficiaries,” said Wili.

He said they were concerned about the money budgeted for the project.

“We want to know where has the money went all of a sudden. We cannot be told that the money has been used for Covid-19 because the issue of Covid-19 will be with us forever,” said Wili, calling for an explanation.

Monwabisi Mapoma, a resident in Kuyasa, said they were promised houses with aluminium windows and doors.

“We only heard this project will no longer be able to continue anymore.

“We are still in the dark as to why and the hasn’t been a satisfactory reasons furnished to us as leaders of this area,” said Mapoma.

Provincial department of Human Settlement said the roll-out of this project was subject to funding availability reviewed annually.

“All National Departments were subjected to budget cuts and our Department’s budget was reduced by R300m in the past financial year. This had an impact on all our projects,” read the response from the department.

The Department said their budget was reduced and furthermore the Department had to revise the implementation plan to focus on provision of serviced sites, upgrading of informal settlements, provision of new housing opportunities to the most vulnerable and deserving beneficiaries as per the directives from the National Department of Human Settlements.

“For Phase 1A 438 units have been completed to date. The project is on hold due to budgetary constraints.

“NHFC, our appointed project managers for this project, has had engagements with the community regarding project related matters,” said the department.

It said due to the National State of Disaster declared by the president last year, Departments were requested to reprioritise budgets to fund prevention, containment, treatment measures related to Covid-19.

It said most of the National Department’s budgets were reduced and the Department of Human Settlements was also affected.

“As explained above budgets have been reduced significantly across Department and the Department of Human Settlements was not spared and as such we are not in a position to confirm when will the project commence. “Furthermore, the strategic focus on upgrading of informal settlements, land release and provision of new housing opportunities to the vulnerable groups,” said the department.

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