Huge housing backlog in Gauteng growing larger, admits MEC Lebogang Maile

Gauteng MEC Lebogang Maile. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng MEC Lebogang Maile. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 18, 2022


Pretoria - The Gauteng Human Settlements Department can only build 10 000 houses a year, while the provincial housing backlog stands at more than 1.2 million.

MEC Lebogang Maile said this in his written reply to questions from the DA’s provincial spokesperson for housing, Mervyn Cirota, in the Gauteng legislature.

Cirota asked Maile for details about the number of people on the provincial housing lists, as well as the period that they had been on the list, and including the demand and supply of the housing units.

In reply, Maile said there were 1 263 660 potential beneficiaries, some of whom had been on the waiting list since 1996.

Giving the breakdown of the housing needs, Maile said between 1996 and 2000 there were 256 650, between 2001 and 2010, 310 637, and 696 372 from 2011 and 2022.

“We are producing an average of 10 000 housing units per financial year” he said.

On plans to reach the completed number of the potential beneficiaries, Maile said: “It is in the interest of the department to deplete the housing backlog soonest. However, there are factors that contribute to the delays, such as the budget, migration and availability of land.”

Reacting to the replies, Cirota said the wait would continue as the department could only build 10 000 houses per financial year.

“Gauteng residents desperate for dignified housing will continue to be exposed to terrible living conditions because of this department's failure to timeously deliver houses. The numbers on the housing waiting list will continue to grow instead of being reduced,” said Cirota.

“Some people on the housing waiting list have died while waiting for houses, and those alive have lost hope that they will be allocated houses,” Cirota said.

He said Maile stated that migration, availability of habitable land and budget were among the reasons there had been a slowdown in the delivery of housing, commenting that these were yet again unnecessary excuses from the MEC, because poor planning and mismanagement of funds were the main reasons that beneficiaries – who had applied for houses 26 years ago – had not yet received their houses.

“The small percentage of houses handed out over 5 years indicates the incompetency of the government to relieve the poor residents of their suffering. Of the 53 954 houses completed in 2017, only 10 830 had been allocated from 2019 to the 2021/22 financial year,” said Cirota.

“The long wait for housing needs to come to an end,” he said.

Pretoria News