Human Settlement MEC Paul Mashatile has admitted that there is a major backlog in housing allocation in Gauteng. 
Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - Human Settlement MEC Paul Mashatile has admitted that there is a major backlog in housing allocation in Gauteng and that corruption had played a part in this in the past.

Speaking with Radio 702 on Wednesday morning, Mashatile said they'd built 33 000 houses in the province over the 2016 financial year while there was still a backlog of 600 000 homes but that a budget of R5 billion had been allocated.

"We hope to build a similar amount of houses (this year) and maybe even more with stands."

"But because of the high demand some communities may have to wait five years but we are pushing," he said.

With regards to issues of corruption Mashatile said: "It's true that in some areas in the past there was interference with the (housing) list but we have changed that now and we are controlling it tightly."

"It has not been out of control and in many people have received their houses as they appear on the waiting list," he said.

Mashatile explained that the responsibility to provide housing in the whole country is "the National Department of Human Settlement and provinces".

"We do, however work with municipalities and provide them with funding to build houses."

"They (the municipality) are responsible to ensure that there is electricity, water and other facilities, so in a sense you can say it's a partnership but we are the leader because the subsidies from national government comes to us (provincial) and we then pass some of the money to the municipalities," he said.

Mashatile added that in some instances the provincial Department of Human Settlement appointed developers themselves.

He acknowledged that the City of Joburg was involved and that the province had met with both them and community leaders in the areas affected on Tuesday to form a steering committee that will meet on Monday.

When asked who determines who receives houses first Mashatile said it was the Department of Human Settlements who did so.

"We don't allow municipalities to have their own waiting list, we (the province) have one waiting list per area and we are now integrating it into one provincial waiting list."

"There has been problems in the past of queue jumping... but we are now prioritising everybody who applied for a house in the early years like 1996 and are on the waiting list, are being prioritised – the elderly, the disabled and military veterans as well," he said.

He said they also publish the list in the communities so that the people can see if they're on the list or if they're not and where they are on the list.

"We will in the near future start allocating houses as we build. We've also agreed that because of the pressure of housing in Gauteng, we will also be allowing people who are able to to build there own houses to do so.

"We will allocate them space and put water, electricity and other services in and allow them to build," he said.

He said for those who didn't know how to get onto the list, the department would improve information on how to do so.

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The Star