Mpumalanga Department of Human Settlements must stop manipulating housing delivery data to make themselves look good

Issued by Trudie Grove-Morgan MPL – DA Spokesperson on Human Settlements
18 Feb 2021 in Press Releases

The Democratic Alliance (DA) of Mpumalanga calls on the MEC of Human Settlements Department, Nora Mahlangu, to prioritise housing delivery, ownership of housing, and to also stop manipulating housing delivery data in the coming year.

The residents of this province have been waiting for far too long to get a roof over their heads and along with a provincial housing backlog which is around 120 000, this department must speed up the delivery of quality houses to the residents of this province.

In their 2019/2020 annual report, the Department mentioned that they successfully delivered 6 710 units in the human settlements projects which fully complied with the South African National Standard (SANS). But instead of elaborating on the 6 710 ‘supposedly’ delivered housing units, their report says nothing, instead it talks about the following confusing breakdown which are not necessarily housing units:

* 3 303 informal settlements upgrading.

* 1269 disaster relief

* 3902 serviced sites

* 867 rural intervention programmes

* 1 987 pre 1994 general houses

* 1 641 post 1994 general houses

Given the above breakdown, the DA thus questions how do projects related to water, sanitation or electricity equate to housing delivery?

In addition to the above, disaster relief provided by the Department is provided on existing housing structures which are present. Requesting clarity on the above-mentioned figures, the DA will thus write to the office of the MEC.

Yet again, the importance of land ownership can never be overemphasized and as such the Department’s strategic objective to increase households’ access to tenure security and land rights must be prioritised.

Despite which, the Department has subsequently struggled to deliver residents Title Deeds in the past five years. For the 2019/2020 financial year, the Department failed to achieve their target by 12 562 Title Deeds.

The DA will thus write to the MEC Mahlangu and request that in the coming year her Department sticks to their mandate and ensure that the delivery of quality houses and land ownership is prioritised.