WANT ANSWERS: Frustrated tenants, backyarders and people living in informal settlements across the City called for speedy government intervention and delivery of housing opportunities, accusing Communicare of costly rentals. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA.
Cape Town - Questions about social housing organisation Communicare’s financial statements have angered residents, who claim that their directors have been paid ludicrous sums of money yet they want to push up the rent.

“Communicare as an NGO is advocating affordable housing, yet the employees, CEO and board of directors are paying themselves market-related salaries. Because of this abuse of lining their own pockets at the expense and exploitation of the poor tenants, we are calling for a forensic and lifestyle audit on Communicare, the CEO, managers, board members and staff,” resident Neville Petersen said on Thursday.

Residents in Dunoon, Ruyterwacht and Kraaifontein took to the streets on Wednesday to vent their anger. “We are faced with rent increases as from July 1 which the majority of tenants can’t afford and your office has failed to assist us,” Petersen said. 

Communicare’s financial statements in 2017 show the executive director’s salary of R1 253 210 with the non-executive directors earning from R67 607 to R270 427. Prescribed officers earn between R1 039 319 and R959 629.

“In the next 19 days we will stop renting from Communicare. We will only pay City of Cape Town water bills, electricity and rates like any other tenants. We will pay only an accurate water bill not an estimated water bill by Communicare administrators which they manipulate

“They disrespect senior citizens and are taking advantage of them,” Petersen said.

The rental amounts vary, depending on the unit size and location. The rentals start as low as R700 but can go up to R8500 (across all ages).

Spokesperson for Communicare Storm Birch said: “Our directors collect nominal fees significantly lower than that paid to directors in public and private enterprises of a similar size.”


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Cape Argus