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Durban man on a waiting list for a RDP house since 1989

RDP houses in Amaoti in iNanda, West of Durban. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

RDP houses in Amaoti in iNanda, West of Durban. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 5, 2022

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Durban: Rajesh Singh is one of thousands of people who have applied for an RDP home or council flat but remain on a waiting list.

Singh applied for a council flat with the Department of Human Settlements and the eThekwini Municipality in 1989. At that time, he worked as a delivery man. He now works in the returns department at a media company.

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“Thirty-three years have passed and I am still waiting,” said Singh.

He lives with his wife and daughters, aged 32 and 27, in a rented home in Unit 5, Chatsworth.

“I have always been the sole breadwinner. My earnings have never been enough to buy a home. I am currently renting at a relative’s home and he has been kind enough to keep the rent affordable.”

Singh said after applying for a home, he often followed up on the progress of his application.

“I was always told that my application was being processed. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years; and the excuses followed.

“Once, I was told the person handling my application was ill, then he changed jobs, then someone new was looking into my application. I want answers. Is my application lost or was my house given to someone else?”

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Vusi Khoza, the spokesperson for the EFF in KwaZulu-Natal, said Singh’s situation was common.

“Thousands of people are waiting for homes. Some have made applications more than 20 years ago and have still not received a home. I am not surprised by this situation because the municipality and the department are not being held accountable for what they do. There is maladministration in the municipality and department because they are not following proper procedures when allocating houses. This is resulting in the backlog.”

He said the government should look at expropriating used land owned by corporate companies and use those spaces to build homes.

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Mdu Nkosi, the speaker for the IFP, said: “The housing allocation and backlog have been a problem for years. I have had people complain that the homes they were allocated were given to someone else. The municipality needs to answer.”

Francois Rodgers, the leader of the DA in KZN, said he received complaints that were similar to Singh’s almost daily.

“Residents have been placed on a housing waiting list that seems to be never-ending. The lists are manipulated for political gain. Some people have also been bumped up on the list, causing others to wait longer than expected.”

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Rodgers said the DA had called for the housing list to be made public.

“We have also asked for an app to be created so people can do their applications online. Through the app, they can receive a reference number and use that number to follow up on the progress of the application.

“Since this is a digital platform, there will be no room for corruption. It will be a system that is transparent and it may be able to stop the backlogs.”

Mbulelo Bayloi, the spokesperson for the Department of Human Settlements in KZN, said the department was not involved in the application or allocation of homes.

“These applications are done via the eThekwini Municipality. At human settlements, we focus only on the funding of these homes. We also work as a mediator to ensure the same people are not benefiting from the housing schemes.”

The municipality did not comment at the time of publication.

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