Pretoria – Tshwane MMC for human settlements Mandla Nkomo has vowed to root out the illegal practice of selling RDP houses by corrupt politicians and officials.
He said that those who had illegally bought houses should demand their money from the crooked sellers back because there wouldn’t be any houses allocated to them.
Nkomo was speaking to the Pretoria News about his plans to address the housing backlog in the city in the next five years.
He warned that under the DA administration, the scourge of corruption in the allocation of houses would be nipped in the bud.
According to Nkomo, the idea behind the DA plans was to ensure that the rightful beneficiaries received houses.
He said the backlog currently stood at 300000, and the city had the capacity to build at least 3000 houses a year.
He said the backlog could partly be attributed to corrupt activities which saw houses being given to undeserving people by ANC officials.
“There are people who applied for RDP houses as far back as 1996, but they were still waiting,” he said.
Some people on the housing waiting list were sidelined by councillors, who gave houses to those who were politically connected to them.
He said the ANC councillors mastered the “modus operandi for their people to jump queues”.
According to Nkomo, those corrupt activities will be a thing of the past. “With the different approach that I am taking, we are going to clear the backlog and see to it that if there is someone that applied for an RDP house in 1996, she or he should be prioritised,” he said.
To further eradicate corruption in housing, Nkomo said that only official officials would take charge of allocating houses, and politicians would not get involved.
Nkomo singled out incidents in Soshanguve in ward 1, where the government-built houses were sold through a task team set up in the community
During a recent meeting with the community, Nkomo told those who bought the RDP houses to go and demand their money back because no house would be allocated to them.
“I told them that whoever has bought an RDP house must go and get his money from the seller. The time for those arrangements is over,” he said.
Nkomo also emphasised that the DA-led municipality would not prioritise the building of RDP houses for young people. “How do you explain having a 19-year-old in an RDP house and a 90-year-old person with no place to stay? It does not make sense.”
Young people should have dreams to uplift themselves and not fight over RDP houses, he said.
Nkomo said stands would be allocated to young people for them to build their own houses. “People are capable of building their own houses. I personally believe that a person who has built his or her own house takes more pride in the ownership of that house than the one who was given a free house,” he said.