Failure to upgrade informal settlements and hostels leave Gauteng citizens in squalor

It is of major concern that the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements appears to be unaware of the exact functions and roles of the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF). This was revealed during a recent meeting held by the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements.

This revelation will have a significant impact on the ability of Premier Panyaza Lesufi to upgrade Townships, Informal Settlements and Hostels in the province as announced during the State of the Province Address (SOPA) this year.

It recently came to light that GPF is failing to deliver on its core mandate which is to:

  • Administer its affordable housing mandate;
  • Be the preferred partner for the implementation of Mega Projects in Gauteng;
  • Be the implementation agent for some projects of the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements including the Rapid Land Release programme.

Furthermore, the fund is meant to add value to various lending products and government programmes by playing a capital raising, coordination and project management role.

The track record of the Department of Human Settlements to deliver on Mega Housing Projects in the province is appalling.

During our many oversight inspections across the province of various housing projects, we have observed that the projects struggle to get off the ground or are not completed on time and within budget.

Several projects across the province are incomplete. There is a continued regularity of underspending with more than 350 blocked, delayed, and incomplete housing projects in Gauteng waiting for completion.

This can be avoided if the GPF can focus on its core mandate. The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to determine the value that the GPF is adding to the work of the department of Human Settlements.

It is high time that the MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile, whips this department and the entities responsible for delivering dignified housing into shape. Our residents deserve a government that puts their interests first.