by Ismail Obaray MPL – DA Constituency Head of Central
Date: 27 March 2017
Type: Press Statement
A number of irregularities in the housing department of Siyathemba Municipality have prompted the DA to call on
the MEC of COGHSTA, Alvin Botes, to launch an investigation into the management and allocation of RDP
houses in both Marydale and Niekerkshoop.
This comes after the municipality has blocked attempts by local DA councillors, Wiida Pelster and Handre Marais,
to openly discuss the matter at a normal council meeting on Thursday this week. The meeting has suspiciously
been changed to a special council meeting, which means the urgent item cannot be placed on the agenda.
The matter first came to light last week after five families, who had been living in the backyards of RDP houses,
that were under construction, for between two and four years, were illegally evicted, without a court order, from
their homes at a Marydale settlement on Human Rights Day.
The evictions, coupled with the absence of a housing beneficiary list, sparked an outcry from members of the
community who believe that the allocation of RDP houses is being done on a purely ad hoc basis by Councillor
Gloria Speelman, who has taken the liberty of personally handing out the keys of completed RDP houses to a
connected few, including her own sister.
Speelman herself resides in an RDP house in Marydale that she rents from the municipality. The DA further has it
on good authority that another top politician, whose name is known to the DA, also rents a RDP house in
Niekerkshoop, which was never officially allocated, for his girlfriend.
The absolute abuse of RDP houses by ANC politicians is totally unacceptable.
RDP houses are intended for the poorest of the poor, who have lost out on opportunities to improve their
circumstances, who are homeless and whose names have topped beneficiary waiting lists for years already. They
are under no circumstances intended for connected cronies and their mistresses, who are earning good salaries
and who place their own wellbeing above that of the constituents whom they are meant to serve.
The DA has written a letter to MEC Botes detailing the scandalous management and allocation of RDP houses in
Siyathemba. We have asked for a full investigation to take place and we have also requested a copy of the official
waiting list. If we do not get a favourable response within 14 days, we will escalate the matter for the attention of
the South African Human Rights Commission, and ask them to investigate whether beneficiaries’ rights to
housing have in fact been violated by the actions of greedy politicians.
Ismail Obaray MPL
DA Constituency Head of Central
082 380 2128
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387