by Cllr Shaine Griqua – DA Councillor in the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality
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Date: 23 February 2018
The Democratic Alliance has written to the Human Settlements Committee of the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality, of which I am a member, to request immediate action regarding problems with housing in the municipality.
An audit must be done urgently to update and verify the details and contracts of all rental property owned by the municipality. As it stands, property is being rented to people ‘unknown’ to the municipality and not all revenue is collected. The audit must include an investigation into corruption and corrupt practices relating to the occupancy of these properties owned, especially those practices which rob the poor of their access to housing to benefit a politically connected few.
I am aware of one example where a municipal worker rents a house at R1 442, while houses in the area are rented for more than R20 000. In another example, the former spouse of a former mayor of the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality occupies property owned by the municipality and, while the monthly rent is R1 078, owes R225 125. Other politically-connected individuals who owe the municipality outrageous amounts includes an official at the Frances Baard District Municipality, who owes Sol Plaatje R118 121 while the rent is R1 518.
It is simply unacceptable that pensioners and the poorest of the poor are threatened with disconnections to their services while municipal officials are allowed to build up skyrocketing bills for rent and municipal services.
While I have raised concerns in numerous meetings, our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. If Councillor Obakeng Plaatje, as chairperson of the committee, does not heed our call for action, we will have to escalate the matter to ensure that the needs of our residents and the rights of our people are being protected.
This audit is only the first of many steps which must be taken.
Providing access to housing is a constitutional obligation, but it is one that the municipality is failing to provide.
Cllr Shaine Griqua
DA Councillor in the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality
062 299 6061
071 251 5558