by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 22 November 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape is calling on COGHSTA MEC, Bentley Vass, to institute an urgent investigation into corruption within Sol Plaatje municipality’s housing unit.
This comes amidst growing concern regarding approximately 3000 title deeds that are gathering dust in the municipal housing office in Galeshewe.
As far as the DA can ascertain, these title deeds have been in storage since at least 2016. The DA has on numerous occasions asked for a report on these title deeds but is consistently stonewalled by respective officials.
In addition to the stagnating title deeds, the DA is also aware that registrations of title deeds have been outsourced to lawyers’ firms but neither Sol Plaatje municipality nor the respective firms seem able to say exactly how many title deeds they are dealing with.
The DA smells a rat and suspects that there are officials and politicians who are manipulating title deeds for their own personal benefit and who do not want the title deeds released, as they will expose high level corruption.
Given the current state of inertia within Sol Plaatje, the DA will refer this matter to MEC Vass. We want him to investigate and tell us in whose names the illusive deeds have been made out to. Should Vass fail to respond to the DA’s concerns within 10 days, as he so often does, we will not hesitate to refer this matter to the Office of the Public Protector for investigation.
Whether the municipality’s hesitancy to award the title deeds has to do with corruption or mismanagement or whether it has to do with the failing ANC’s decision to expropriate without compensation, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the effect is the same. Thousands of rightful housing beneficiaries must now pay the price as they continue to be deprived of the opportunity to own their own homes, which they can use as surety for loans and which they can eventually bequeath to their children.
Only change under a DA-led government will ensure that those in power do not steal from the poor by grabbing property rights from rightful beneficiaries.