Mashaba: Homes crumbling while Tau sits with all the title deeds

Note to editors: The following is an extract from a speech delivered by the Democratic Alliance’s Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate, Herman Mashaba, during the an oversight visit to address the issues of title deeds and housing in Kersie Dorp, Eldorado Park. Mashaba was joined by the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, and DA Shadow Minister of Human Settlements, Makashule Gana MP.

Helen Zille and I have come to Eldorado Park to observe for ourselves the conditions in which you live.

We have been shocked and moved by what we’ve seen. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

I feel a strong sense of betrayal in this community. It is clear that the ANC of today have betrayed both the Constitution and Mandela’s vision for our nation.

The most serious betrayal is the broken promise to provide dignified shelter to everyone.

Many families of Eldorado Park have been living in flats owned by the City for decades, yet you are still waiting for title deeds.

Tau is allowing your homes to crumble while he sits with all your title deeds.

When elected mayor on 3 August, the DA will do four things to turnaround the housing crisis in Johannesburg:

  1. We will pass ownership within six months by giving tens of thousands of people title deeds. The City of Cape Town has delivered 6,151 title deeds in the last year, compared to Johannesburg’s zero.
  2. We will halt housing list corruption by making the process transparent and open. This information will be made available on the internet.
  3. We will incentivise entrepreneurs who build environmentally friendly and sustainable homes.
  4. We will provide services to informal settlements and embrace them into the City.

We will also tackle the issue of inner city urban regeneration once and for all.

There will be an overhaul of zoning schemes and legislation to see an end to slumlords and derelict buildings in our city.

We will beef up the powers of the City to prevent the ownership and control of buildings being wrested from the rightful owners.

And, in the same way, the responsibility of owners to maintain their buildings will be strongly enforced.

Enforcement will no longer be the weakest aspect of the City’s behavior because weakness deters job creators and investors.

My administration will be fair and competent as we turn around Johannesburg’s housing crisis step by step, day by day.

You the voters must punish the ANC government for their failures on 3 August.

In March almost R1 billion in unused housing funds by Gauteng were sent back to the National Treasury.

This was a tragedy for Johannesburg in particular.

This investment is lost because the money has since been reallocated to other provinces.

Shack and backyard dwellers – the poorest of the poor – are the victims of this chronic mismanagement in this cold winter.

My administration will not abandon people’s hopes and dreams like Parks Tau’s administration has.

I know how important a home is, no matter how basic. A home is far more than a front door, four walls, and a roof.

I know that home ownership is about investing in savings, building a family, and planting roots in a community.

I also know that the struggle of this community is the struggle for jobs. There is a direct link between the jobs crisis and the housing crisis.

There are 869 000 unemployed people in Johannesburg, 66 000 of whom joined the ranks of the unemployed in the first quarter of 2016.

When elected mayor on 3 August, job creation will be my number one priority.

With jobs, people can buy their own homes, taking the pressure off the state to provide homes.

With jobs, we have more revenue to spend on the poor.

With jobs, we can lay pipelines of opportunity.

Every day I speak to disadvantaged men and women who have no jobs, who have no access to the most basic of human rights.

Parks Tau speaks about theory. I speak about action.

We will not abandon the people of Eldorado Park. The DA will stand by you, and stand up for you.

Vote for change on 3 August.