Hostel and informal settlements residents are forced to continue to live in appalling conditions due to MEC Maile’s department incompetence

Residents of the Madala hostel in Alexandra continue to live in appalling and inhumane conditions where the hostel structure has deteriorated into more disrepair, while the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements is consistently failing to meet its quarterly target of converting hostels into family units, approving of hostel projects plans, and providing interim service support to informal settlements.

The living conditions at hostels and informal settlements across the province are unsanitary and not suitable for human habitation.

There are inadequate or no drainage systems with no proper sanitation, leading to regular sewer blockages and resulting in raw sewerage flowing all over the place right outside where people live. There is also no regular refuse removal, with piles of uncollected refuse and litter creating a very dangerous health hazard for residents, while many parts of the informal settlements continue to go without electricity.

The department’s failure to meet its quarterly targets was revealed in the first quarterly report for the 2021/22 financial year.

The department failed to meet any of its targets set to convert three hostels into family units, phase two upgrading of five informal settlements, while 10 informal settlements did not receive National Support Programme assessments.

This indicates that no work was done for the hostels and informal settlements residents during the quarter under review.

They also failed to achieve its target of approving five hostel project plans with only two approved. Furthermore, they did not achieve its planned target of formalisation of 55 townships.

For the past years, Human Settlements has never achieved all of its set targets and has failed to spend on its allocated budget, which indicates that there is an urgent need for a complete overhaul of this department.

This is a clear indication that the current government has failed to provide dignified housing for our people and the only solution is to vote for change by putting the DA in power. The DA-led Gauteng government will provide a workable and implementable plan to run an efficient and effective department.

Strict timelines and penalties to contractors who fail to meet the deadlines will be implemented as well as consequence management for officials to ensure accountability, diligence, and commitment to the core mandate of the department.

The DA will continue to provide alternatives and solutions to resolve issues faced by this department and ensure that the living conditions of our people are improved. We will also continue to hound MEC Maile to ensure that there is operational accountability to better the lives of our people who are in desperate need of dignified housing and environment, so that delivery from this department can actually improve and residents can finally be provided what they deserve.

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