Zille lashes ANC’s housing ‘football’

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Independent Newspapers

Western Cape premier Helen Zille.

Cape Town - Western Cape premier Helen Zille accused the ANC on Friday of playing “political football” with housing in the province.

“They have repeatedly claimed that when they were in government in the province 'they built 16,000 houses per year, while the Democratic Alliance has only been able to build 10,000 houses per year',” she said during her state-of-the-province address in Cape Town.

She said she was sceptical of the African National Congress's claims and asked her department's forensic investigation unit (FIU) to do an audit on the source of this data, namely the 2008/9 annual local government and housing report produced under the ANC administration.

She said the report claimed the ANC completed 15 717 houses during that period but that the FIU found this claim could not be verified.

“For a start, the ANC's thumb-suck figure includes programmes that had nothing to do with building and delivering housing units,” Zille claimed.

“And it also shows that the ANC simply shifted the deadline, and counted units that had not been completed by the end of the financial year.”

The premier alleged the party “got away” with this conduct because the auditor general (AG) was not verifying statistics at that stage by actually counting the finalised housing total by the cut-off date.

She said the AG had noted in the report that the evidence provided to support the department's performance was “materially inconsistent” in a number of instances with the reported performance.

Opposition MPLs jeered at Zille's remarks and claimed her administration had not even managed to build as many as 10 000 houses per year.

Leader of the opposition in the legislature Lynne Brown criticised the FIU by shouting: “How much did that cost?”

Zille continued after order had been called.

“That is AG speak for 'you were talking nonsense'... In short, their claim to have built 16 000 houses each year is without foundation.

“I would use stronger terms than this but it would probably be unparliamentary, Mr Speaker.”

Sapa


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