APF

March for housing to the Union Buildings on Thursday 13 November 2008

“Housing Officials sold 2700 houses two years ago and we are still staying in shacks”

Tuesday 11 November 2008 by Nic

Housing Corruption in Tshwane

The Anti Privatisation Forum (APF) together with the residents of Mooiplaas informal settlement in Tshwane will be marching to the Union Buildings on Thursday 13th November 2008 to expose the housing allocation corruption scandal in Olivenhoutbosch Extension 36 (Ward 48) and demand the Minister of Housing Lindiwe Sisulu set up a formal inquiry.

Currently the housing officials are trying to cover up the scam by moving Mooiplaas residents who qualified for houses into Extension 36. This is the current situation in Mooiplaas to try and avoid embarrassment by the residents who are marching on the 13th November 2008. The residents have been staying in Mooiplaas informal settlement since 1996 and more than 3000 residents registered for RDP houses. Like many other poor working class residents, the waiting for housing delivery has been too long and many had believed that there will be no housing delivery. Residents went to verify their details during Operation Ziveze in August 2008. To the community’s amazement, residents were shocked by their discovery that their Extension 36 houses had already been approved and built and that unknown people were occupying them. The officials at the Tshwane Department of Housing have allocated people these houses in a clearly corrupt manner.

Amazingly, the Gauteng Housing Provincial Department advised the residents that they should go and forcefully evict those residents who are already occupying the houses. Residents then consulted with the Tshwane Department of Housing officials (Jabu Tshabalala, Mokgoshi Komane and Fanie Fenyane) who also suggested that the residents should go and evict people occupying the houses. Clearly fearing that such ‘suggestions’ would become publicly known, the Tshwane Housing officials then decided to allocate about 25 residents from Mooiplaas informal settlement Block A into Extension 36 houses. These were the residents’ committee leaders who in the past were vocal about this issue. The divide and rule tactic by the housing officials partially worked since these former community leaders have been silenced.

The housing officials from Tshwane told the residents that they have to fight for their houses or another plan will be made in 2014. There were several local meetings that were called by the local ward councilor Stephina Morudi to try and address this housing matter. However, the meetings never yielded any positive results because the residents are still staying in shacks. The office of the Tshwane Mayor, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, has in the past year received letters and invitations from the residents to come and address the matter. But the Mayor has failed to respond to the community. Refusing to bow down, the residents decided to expose the Tshwane housing officials by going directly to the Gauteng Provincial Department of Housing. Predictably, the Gauteng Housing Department simply washed their hands of the matter.

Now the community leaders are facing death threats from unknown sources and have been given bogus housing relocation notices. The poor are insulted by the Tshwane municipality because the city is already charging and deducting money for municipal services from the residents who are staying in informal settlements. It is clear that the City of Tshwane (and the Gauteng Department of Housing) doesn’t have its house in order and the residents demand that the Housing Department conduct a formal inquiry into the entire housing scam and immediately take action against those officials responsible. People who are presently occupying the Extension 36 houses also need to have houses that are not provided at the expense of the Mooiplaas residents.

It is symptomatic of the rampant corruption and political opportunism that dominates the public housing delivery process that our housing officials seek to set poor people against each other in a constructed ’competition’ for RDP houses while a few crony officials and their acolytes make off with ill-gotten proceeds. This must stop now!


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