The DA's Parliamentary Leader Athol Trollip will be touring the country along with DA MPs and MPLs over the next few months in order to give South Africans their constitutional right back to have their voices heard in Parliament. A range of service delivery sites across all nine provinces will be visited, and this page will document what the DA finds at these places and the people we meet, as well as the action steps taken in Parliament as a result of these findings.
Honourable premier, last week we received a text message (an SMS) from Solomon Seunane representing the community of Ga-Mohokone. It reads, "We are still waiting for Reconstruction and development Programme (RDP) houses allocation of 2006. We raised it with former President Motlanthe and we made several follow-ups with the contractor. We appeal to you to make an urgent intervention as some beneficiaries are orphans".
We urge all our people, traditional leaders and stakeholders to act like Mr Seunane. Be our eyes and ears. Wherever you see unfinished projects, alert us, wherever you see a destitute family or orphans that need urgent help, alert us. We have already responded to Mr Seunane's plea by appointing a new contractor who has been given very clear instructions to complete all the homes allocated to that community.
WHAT WE SAW AND FOUND
Visit one: Mokopane in Mogalakwena Municipality
- She did not have a functioning toilet in her house and had to use the field next to her house; and
- Sewerage would flow into her house through the open sewerage pipes.
- A drain that was clearly not working and was covered with litter
- A stand pipe that was spraying water all over the place, which we could not close and which clearly was a massive waste of water and had caused flooding in the immediate area.
- electing a support organisation which is responsible for managing the project, from ordering the material to ensuring that each phase of the project is completed on time;
- paying out subsidies in instalments to the Accounting Officer appointed by the support organisation; and
- training of support organisation members in the community to be builders who must undertake to complete any project they are working on.
- Mpyane Mmotong: Who showed us where a slab was cast for her house in 2006, but no building had taken place since then. She currently lives in a dilapidated thatched roof house that has no basic services and, out of frustration, she has started using money left over from her pension every month to start building her own house - directly opposite the slab that was cast three years ago;
- Laduma Ivy Mokolo: Showed us her PHP house which she was allocated despite the fact that it had no windows, the walls hadn't been plastered and there were no toilet or shower facilities, running water or electricity supplied to the house. She told us that she had heard four years of promises from the ANC government, but nothing had been delivered by them;
- Johanna Tshehla: Took us to where her house was demolished by the contractors because they were going to build her a new one. But nothing had happened since then and she was forced to find somewhere else to live in the village.
The community told us that ANC councillors had visited them just before the elections and had promised them that housing construction would commence on 1 May 2009, but this had not happened.
DA Councillor Mose Mtlala also provided us with a copy of a provincial department document which stated that the houses that were meant to be built in the Motwaneng village were considered to have been completed and allocated to residents.
It is clear from our visits to all three housing projects that the ANC government has failed to deliver on the many promises they have made when it comes to providing houses.
- The housing backlog in the province continues to grow on a yearly basis;
- Money is wasted on building houses that are never completed or occupied;
- More money has to be spent to repair or rebuild houses that have not been properly built, resulting in houses costing way more than what was originally budgeted; and
- A large number of contractors are paid despite reneging on their contracts and no action is ever taken against them.
- Firstly, DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements Butch Steyn will write to Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale highlighting what we found on our visit and will request that he takes immediate action in this regard;
- He will also make a statement in the National Assembly (NA) highlighting what we found on our visit;
- Butch Steyn will also pose a number of questions on the current housing situation in Limpopo to the National Minister, including whether the incomplete houses we found are regarded as part of the 2.6 million houses claimed to have been completed or under construction; what action steps or intervention measures will he take in the Limpopo province; how many blocked housing projects still exist in Limpopo and the other eight provinces; and what action his department is taking in this regard, as well as against contractors who have reneged on their contracts;
- He will request that the portfolio committee of human settlements call the Limpopo provincial department of human settlements to appear before it in order to provide an account of the current situation in the province and what action steps it intends taking to deal with this crisis;
- Butch Steyn will also call for the portfolio committee to conduct its own oversight visit to RDP housing projects in the Limpopo Province;
- DA MPL Jacobus Smalle will pose questions in the Limpopo legislature to the Limpopo MEC for Human Settlements on the specific problems we found at all three RDP projects, including the fact that houses were incomplete, poorly constructed, did not have running water, sanitation facilities or electricity, and what steps he intends taking with regard to these problems, as well as questions on the whether Naboom constructions has been fully paid, and the steps his provincial department will take against contractors who have not fulfilled their contractual obligations; lastly, he will also ask the department how many housing projects have had to be unblocked in the past and at what cost;
- Jacobus Smalle will also call for the portfolio committee of human settlements in the legislature to request that the Limpopo MEC of Human Settlements and any contractors guilty of not completing their contracts appear before the committee to account for their failure and provide action steps to rectify the current situation;
- We will also conduct a follow-up visit within twelve months to see whether any improvements have been made to these housing projects.