Budget Vote Debate- Extended Public Committee
Vote 38: Human Settlements
Mr KP Sithole, MP
In its stated mandate of the facilitation and creation of sustainable human settlements and improvement to household quality of life this Department has been a sad failure.
The incompetent and almost criminal under-spending by the Department of Human Settlements in Gauteng which has now seen over 1 billion rand being transferred to other provinces by Treasury at the expense of those citizens in Gauteng who are without homes is a sad indication of the real state of this department.
Recent additional under-spending by Ekurhuleni in the sum of R3.06 million and City of Cape Town in the sum of R150 million reflects a department with no sense of urgency.
In Ethekwini, the urban settlements development grant reported massive backlogs in the informal settlement areas. The metro is simply not moving with any kind of speed in addressing service delivery challenges, and has a backlog of about 400 000 houses. And with those who have received houses, there is lack of access to water, toilets and electricity. Generally speaking, Sanitation and water backlogs also remain high and are affecting the quality of lives of many of the residents in the metros. Planning in the metros remains a disaster!
The continuing situation regarding Pit toilets in South Africa is a tragedy. How many times since 2007 have we had to listen to the empty words of government promising eradication of pit toilets from South Africa? Yet almost 10 years later we still have these assaults on human dignity littering our informal settlements in spite of receiving USDG grants from the National sphere. Capacity grants were also received, but no improvements noted. Where is the monitoring and evaluating system from the Department?
Backyard dwellers are in a similar crisis – with no departmental policy in place. Why are these people being ignored?
The ongoing crisis and loss of skills retention in the Department of Human Settlements, which is evidenced by the number of very senior positions that are being currently filled in only ‘acting’ capacities necessitates steps that must be immediately implemented to ensure skills stability at senior levels in the Department.
The shocking state of Hostel’s in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal remain a stain on this department and this government. How people can be expected to live in conditions that are not even fit for animals is quite beyond me, and we as the IFP therefore once again call upon the minister to urgently prioritize the upliftment of conditions at our hostels.
The Inkatha Freedom Party supports this budget vote and supports a Department free from GUPTA influence and we hope this Minister does too and is not herself a GUPTA appointee!
I thank you.
Mr KP Sithole, MP
079 311 9995
IFP Media, Parliament