IFP Gauteng: Response to SOPA


Honourable speaker, to say the IFP is disappointed will be an understatement. We have received the message from the ANC government loud and clear that they don’t care about Gauteng residents residing in hostels. The message from the ANC clearly tells the IFP and its constituency, especially in hostels that, the respect for the law and the patience that we have been demonstrating has been interpreted as stupidity and cowardice. Those who grab land and invade properties are treated even far better than us.

In the entire five-year term, the Honorable Premier made mention of hostels in his State of the Province Addresses (SOPA) only three times, in 2014, 2017 and then again on Monday. And I quote:

“As we implement our new Mega Human Settlements programme, we are also doing work in the renewal of old townships and converting hostels into family units and integrating them into communities.”
“We shall work with municipalities and national government to ensure that all township roads and streets are tarred, eradicate the bucket system, all hostels turned into family units and prevent land invasion and growth of informal settlements.”
“We regret the fact that we haven’t made much progress with regard to upgrading and transforming hostels into family units during this term.”

As the IFP we are extremely disappointed that the radical Transformation, Modernisation and Re-Industrialisation programme has failed to radically improve the lives of hostel residents. Honourable Speaker, there is no price that can be attached to the value and dignity of human life. People residing in hostels also deserve the joys of clean, safe, habitable homes. For 25 years, hostel residents have been treated with sheer contempt and stripped of their dignity. I fully agree with you Hon Premier when you said on Monday:

“When heartlessness and bigheadedness creeps into public decision making, saving lives and serving the people takes a back seat.”

This is the attitude that is frustrating and failing the hostel unit that was established with your blessing during the former MEC Paul Mashatile’s tenure, and I am aware of the attempts to reverse and undo this noble attempt.

Honourable Premier, we remain concerned about the discrepancy between the R279 committed by Finance MEC towards hostel redevelopment for the 2018/2019, and only R180 million pronounced by MEC Moiloa for hostel redevelopment. The observed discrepancy between funds allocated towards Hostel Redevelopment and actual results on the ground is disturbing. In all earnest Honourable Premier, it is now indisputable that there is no political commitment and willingness from your forever recycled officials in the Department of Human Settlements.

Bonginkosi Dhlamini MPL
IFP Gauteng Provincial Chairperson
082 565 3571