President of the ANC Women’s League Bathabile Dlamini. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini has a new role as the chairperson of the social housing regulatory authority. 

The Mail&Guardian reported that Dlamini had been appointed to the position by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. She starts in the position in November. 

Her alleged appointment has taken many by surprise especially because of how the controversial Dlamini served as minister. 
 
She had overseen the disastrous handling of the social grants crisis and she had been found wanting by the Constitutional Court. The court ruled in 2018 that she should be held personally liable for the poor handling of the grants crisis. It slapped her with a 20% cost order. 
 
This ruling was issued after an inquiry was held to probe the grants crisis. The inquiry was chaired by Judge Bernard Ngoepe who found that Dlamini evasive in her answers.

The controversy around her appointment stems from her questionable methods in running the department of social development.

Dlamini is the president of the ANC Women’s League and her appointment may be seen as a political move. She had been left out of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet. This was after she was reshuffled from social development to minister for women in Ramaphosa's last administration. 

The spokesperson for Sisulu, Makhosini Mgitywa defended Dlamini’s appointment on 702 on Friday morning and said she had the skills to chair the agency. 

“Social housing has to be regulated so that it is not cheated so it does not lose money unnecessarily. We think that she is a person that can help us with solving the social housing issues in the country, given her background in social development,” he said. 

The social housing regulatory authority was established in 2010 by the minister of human settlements. It focuses on providing social housing to low - to medium-income groups. 

"The purpose of social housing is to contribute to the national priority of restructuring South African society in order to address structural, economic, social and spatial dysfunctionalities. Social housing contributes to widening the range of housing options available to the poor," the agency website states.

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