Public Protector tells communities there’s no excuse to wait for RDP houses

Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela has said there’s no excuse for people to waiting for RDP houses since the nineties. 
She said during public hearings on RDP houses and alleged illegal conversion of panel vans into taxis. The event was held in Evaton in the Sedibeng Municipality.
“Maladministration is one of the key thieves stealing the constitutional dream of a better life for all. To defeat maladministration and accelerate public service delivery we must all join hands regardless of whether we are in government, oversight bodies or civil society,” she said.
She appealed to members of the community not to look the other way if they see wrong doing as public monies and other resources are not orphaned and are what we essential need to deliver the improved quality of life for all promised by the Constitution.
The Public Protector urged those that had illegally grabbed RDP houses in response to delayed delivery of houses they applied for should not take the law into your hands as this creates enormous planning difficulties. 
She further appealed to those in government to develop action plans to address matters raised during the public hearings and not wait for an investigation by the Public Protector.
The key issues raised at the public hearings included that of people invading RDP houses as a self-remedy for their delayed applications, long wait for houses particularly older and disabled persons many of which have been waiting since as early as 1996. 
Double and multiple allocations, withdrawal of allocation for deceased beneficiaries who live behind indigent dependents, untraceable allocated houses, defective houses including structurally defective houses and those constructed with poor material also came to the fore. 
Other complaints related to houses and yards that are too small, some less than 40 square metres, unfinished RDP projects, lack of clarity on beneficiary lists and prioritisation criteria, houses without title deeds and illegal sale of RDP houses. 
Community members also complained about land claims taking far too long while claimants are being evicted, invasion of private land for informal settlements allegedly through encouragement from certain persons from the Municipality, infrastructural deficit mainly involving roads, electricity and sanitation, storm water drainage inadequacies and sewage spillage.
Access to health care was also raised with issues including operational hours of the local clinic, availability of professionals and inadequacy of medical supplies with patients regularly given prescriptions with the view to purchasing own medicine, police harassment and lack of welfare services for children.
The plight of low cost housing owners not on the RDP programme was raised sharply. This spilled over to irregularities in the foreclosure practises of the Midvaal Municipality. The Public Protector was further asked to provide feedback on the Midvaal low cost housing investigation. Corruption was raised as a major concern beyond RDP housing procurement and allocations. Documents were provided on alleged corruption on affected for the Public Protector to investigate.
The Public Protector will by end of next month issue a report on the issues people raised and her observations with a view to give affected municipalities and government departments opportunity to immediately address urgent issues while she investigates complex issues. She impressed upon municipalities to improve communications with the people.
The Public Protector ended up with a call to join hands to arrest maladministration in all its forms including corruption and in the process accelerate public service delivery and restore hope among our people.
The Public Protector will finalise the public hearings in the Western Cape on Thursday and Friday.
Issued by:
Kgalalelo Masibi 
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Published Date: 
Tuesday, August 28, 2012