Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela visit to the Free State
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday concluded her three day visit to the Free State with a public hearing in Kroonstad, Moqhaka Local Municiplaity, where more than a thousand distressed community members came to report their service delivery grievances.
The majority of community members, some of whom had to stand outside as the Mphohadi FET College hall was fully-packed, complained about having waited since the 1990s for RDP houses, which were still not forth coming more than ten years later. Some elderly applicants had since passed on and their descendants were still waiting for the houses.
"I applied for a house in 2006 and when I enquire about progress, municipal officials always inform me that I am still on the waiting list even though the Department of Human Settlements tell me that, according to their records, my house is ready for occupation," one woman told the Public Protector.
Other complaints related to stands that are allegedly not allocated to rightful beneficiaries, unclear roles of councillors regarding housing provision, incomplete houses, poor housing material, sanitation, title deeds, water, electricity and recruitment practices that are allegedly based on political allegiance.
Moqhaka Mayor Jihad Mohapi said there were more than 10 000 housing applications in the area and ample land for building. However, the municipality was looking at the availability of water, sanitation and electricity before building to avoid creating settlements that would be without key services.
Responding to the complaints, the Public Protector said housing matters would be given first preference to bring relief to destitute locals, who didn't have roofs over their heads. She said her office would work with the municipality and the provincial government to speed up the resolution of complaints.
Her visit to the province culminated in an inspection of some of the projects complained about. These included housing projects in Kgahliso Moeketse township outside Kroonstad.
The hearing formed part of the Public Protector Stakeholder Consultative Dialogue, which focuses on the need to work together to end maladministration and ensure responsive service delivery, with a special focus on problems plaguing RDP housing and alleged regulatory gaps regarding alleged illegal conversion of panel vans into taxis.
The Dialogue goes to North West, where the Public Protector will engage community members at the City Hall in Klerksdorp on Thursday and organised interest groups at the Provincial Legislature in Mahikeng on Friday.
For more information, contact:
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Wednesday, August 1, 2012