Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile and IFP member in the legislature Bonginkosi Dhlamini in yellow golf shirt at Dube Hostel in March this year. Picture: GDHS

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Human Settlements has expressed shock over the allegations that it has neglected the Dube hostel and its dwellers in Soweto, South of Johannesburg.

Vandals have stripped off the roof, doors, windows of already from 416 renovated residential apartment units at the hostel. The apartments which were renovated at a cost of R230 million had not be occupied because of a rent payment dispute between some residents and government.

Departmental Spokesperson Keith Khoza this week said that the department handed the Dube Hostel to the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan in line with the mandate to hand over hostels to municipalities.

“We transferred the hostel to the City of Johannesburg. What we will do as the province is to assist them to rebuild the place and allocate to beneficiaries,” said Khoza, adding the hostel was the full responsibility of the City. 

“The City of Johannesburg was supposed to fix and allocate the units to the hostel dwellers but they failed to secure the funding to renovate the hostel and later hit a backlog, as a result, nothing has been done to date,” said Khoza

Khoza said the department is calling on City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba to take full responsibility because the hostel falls under his municipality.

“In March this year, MEC for Human Settlements, Paul Mashatile who was accompanied by the IFP Member of Provincial Legislature, Bonginkosi Dlamini, had visited Dube hostel during their walkabout to engage the hostel dwellers about the plans to fix the hostel. 

"The MEC was told that the City of Johannesburg was in a process of appointing a service provider to fix the current damages and will allocate the units very soon,” said Khoza.

He said Mashatile was disappointed that almost a year later the City has not fulfilled its commitment made to hostel residents to house them in a decent environment.

“The MEC is calling upon the City of Johannesburg to do the right thing and what is expected of them, to speed up the process of appointing the service provider to fix the hostel. He further said that the City of Johannesburg cannot shift responsibility whenever they are found wanting," said Khoza.

Mayor Mashaba could not be immediately reached for comment.