Human Settlements Nomaindiya Mfeketo says Northern Cape could be the first province in the country to eradicate its housing backlog that stands at 39 604 and has an opportunity to eliminate its title deeds logjam of 31 893.
Addressing residents of Galeshewe during the Imbizo Focus Week, Mfeketo said even though her department lost over R10 billion due to budget cuts, Northern Cape was a model province in its ability to do more with less in terms of delivery.
“I have been visiting communities and projects around the country and I must say Northern Cape builds the best houses. I am happy with the product I see here, the houses are of good quality,” she said.
With other provinces falling behind in terms of spending their human settlements budgets, the Northern Cape had an opportunity to present a credible case, based on housing project readiness, for more funding during the budget adjustments in September.
Mfeketo, who also handed over 100 title deeds ensuring security of tenure to housing beneficiaries of Dunston, said “the Northern Cape accounts for 38 percent of the 225 936 title deeds delivered nationwide thus far and is the second best performing province in this regard.”
The Imbizo Focus Week is principally a heightened period of engagements between Members of the Executive and citizens through on-going dialogues on service delivery and related matters.
“The aim of these community engagements is to encourage active citizenry. Housing developments cannot continue without the involvement of beneficiaries. People must have a say in the building of their houses,” said Mfeketo.
Residents of Kimberley took full advantage of the opportunity to voice their grievances, their complaints which included amongst others shortage of houses, corruption, blocked sewage and electricity cuts.
Minister Mfeketo was accompanied by the Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, MEC for Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs Bentley Vass and the Executive Mayor of Frances Baard P Marekwa and the Mayor of Sol Plaatje Municipality Mangaliso Matika.
Premier Lucas encouraged beneficiaries to take care of their houses. “People must learn to love their houses, they should plant trees and grass and lastly, do not sell your houses.”
MEC Vass said beneficiaries should be employed by the contractors building houses in the areas. “People should be employed by these contractors so that they can be able pay for services and other needs,” said Vass.
Earlier, Minister Mfeketo visited residents at Diamond Park and met Lisbeth Modise (64) and Johannes Modise (67) who live with their three grandchildren and whose source of income is social grants.
The Modise family arrived at Diamond Park in 1996 and have been living in a shack until they received their house last month.
“In 2012, our shack burned down. We lost all our belongings. It was heart breaking as I realised that my family was living in an unsafe structure, one of us could have died in that fire. Now I live in peace in this safe house with my grandchildren. I am very happy in this house,” said Modise.
Another beneficiary, Gomang Madupi (72) arrived at Diamond Park in 2000, she lives with her two children and two grandchildren and are sustained by social grants. Before she received her house, they stayed in a shack for more than ten years.
“Our living conditions were bad because when it rained, water got into the shack and our clothes and furniture always got wet. I am happy with this house, it is safe and has electricity and water,” said Madupi.
Diamond Park area is an upgraded informal settlement that started in 1995 and it is expected to yield 800 houses upon completion, providing shelter to more than 6000 people. Besides contributing to the eradication of the housing backlog, the development also addresses poverty and provision of basic services to the communities in the area.
Executive Mayor Matika announced that the Municipality has partnered with Ikapa Mining Company and a total amount of R7 million had allocated to improve infrastructure at Diamond Park. “To complement these beautiful houses, we will use this money to construct roads and install electricity.”
Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements