Limpopo’s dire housing situation has been dealt a harsh blow as the shocking reality of the disclosure that the provincial government has thus far failed to deliver a single social housing unit of a five-year target, hit home.
Figures revealing the scenario for the period 2014 to the third quarter of the 2017/18 financial year formed part of a recent presentation that focused on expected delivery from current projects and attracted attention to Limpopo having missed its social housing project target by failing to deliver a single unit.
Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentarian and the party’s Shadow Minister for Human Settlements, Solly Malatsi pointed at the shocking statistics contained in the presentation by Social Housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) Chief Executive Officer Rory Gallagher, which he reportedly recently shared with the Human Settlements Portfolio Committee in Parliament.
Alongside Limpopo’s 1 050 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) targeted units supposed to be delivered between 2014 and 2019, the Northern Cape is the only other province that seemingly hit rock bottom with zero of its targeted 565 units having been delivered during the same period, according to the information contained in the presentation. The target for total units countrywide is 27 003. The majority target of 9 905 was earmarked for Gauteng, where 4 672 have apparently materialised.
In his comment on the issue Malatsi said it was yet another example of service delivery ineptitude that has characterised the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta) the past several years.
“The failure of the Limpopo province to deliver a single social housing unit since 2014 to date is an indictment on the provincial department of human settlements, which continues to betray the aspirations of thousands of low income-earning residents looking to their dignity restored by having a home of their own.
“In a province where the demand for housing opportunities is as massive as it is in Limpopo, the persistent lack of delivery when it comes to housing is an unforgivable sin in governance which the ANC (African National Congress) will be punished for by voters in next year’s national elections.”
A source in governance who was consulted on the matter analysed the news and said it was an indictment on Coghsta. He blamed the delay in target delivery on perceived issues of leadership and skills. Without committed leaders it wasn’t easy to make things happen, he remarked.
A message with the request for Gallagher to comment remained unanswered.
Polokwane Observer further requested comment from Coghsta Chief Information Officer Motupa Selomo, who re-directed the request to departmental spokesperson Paena Galane. His comment is quoted verbatim: “The roll out of Community Residential Units (CRU) continues to be of the key focus of our department. In the past financial year, the department has constructed 150 CRU units at Lephalale that most of which are under completion phase. In this financial year, the department will construct 215 CRU(s) in Lephalale. These units stand to benefit 365 families cumulatively. It is anticipated that upon completion, this project will have housed 514 families. Furthermore, the department is proceeding to work with the Social Housing Regulatory Agency (SHRA) to proceed with the construction of 200 social and rental housing at Bendor Extension 100, as well as 208 rental units at Polokwane extension 76 and 494 units at Ga-Rena Social Housing Phase Two.”
Story: YOLANDE NEL