Minister of Human Settlement NomaIndia Mfeketho addressed residents who have been protesting for a vacant land and houses at Zwelihle, Hermanus. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Cape Town - South African Human Settlements Minister, Nomaindiya Mfeketo, on Wednesday said it was unacceptable that funds from the human settlements budget were being returned to national treasury when there was service delivery pressure on housing.

Mfeketo addressed community members at Zwelihle Stadium in Hermanus near Cape Town on Wednesday, following recent violent protests over land and service delivery which has seen a satellite police station being set alight, a library gutted and spaza shops looted.

Strengthening relationships between the three spheres of government was critical if the state was to respond effectively to the service delivery needs of South Africans, Mfeketo said.

“If relations between the three spheres of government were what it’s supposed to be, ways could have been found to reallocate these funds to areas where they are needed most,” she said.

Mfeketo said she endorsed and supported the intervention of the Western MEC for human settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela in Hermanus and her department would do everything possible to make sure the agreed plan of action between the province, Overstrand Municipality and the community was a success.

According to a statement, officials from the national department would be assigned to the task team that was established by the Western Cape MEC and would provide weekly reports to the minister’s office.

“I am waiting for the revised business plans from the Western Cape department of human settlements and the municipality that will reprioritise spending in the Overstrand Municipality. In few weeks, once that is received, we should be able to say in a concrete way how we are going to help,” said Mfeketo.

She had emphasised on the fact that funds meant for housing remained unspent by provinces and certain metropolitan municipalities was a source of great concern for her.

African News Agency/ANA