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18 October 2016

Release: Immediate

The DA notes with concern the constant disruptions that cause the delay of housing developments and the delivery of housing in the province.

Disruptions broke out at a community meeting this past weekend and have resulted in the delay of phase 3 of the Joe Slovo, N2 Gateway housing development. Incidents of this nature cannot be allowed to continue because they delay service delivery.

In my capacity as Chairperson of the Standing committee on Human Settlements in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, I have written to Minister of Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, to inquire how much these delays are costing the Department and what measures his Department is putting in place to ensure that no more delays are experienced.According to the Human Settlements 2015/2016 annual report, a number of housing developments have been delayed due to violence and other issues in communities earmarked for development. The report states that instead of the 2379 informal dwellings that were supposed to have been provided with access to water and sanitation, the Department managed to achieve 1829.

Delayed projects cost the province more in the long run and also mean that deserving beneficiaries are forced to continue living in uninhabitable conditions for much longer than anticipated. Furthermore, the delays cause a backlog on other developments in the province and effectively derails the whole system. The Department is working tirelessly to ensure they achieve as mandated but the community need to understand that this is their project and not the departments, and should therefore ensure its success.

I urge communities to familiarise themselves with the activities of the steering committees. Members of the steering committees are elected from the community and are also beneficiaries. They are elected for a specific project and the committee is dissolved upon completion of the project.

The DA led Western Cape remains committed to increase the number of housing opportunities for the people of the Western Cape.

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