Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cape falls short on housing delivery

Cape Town - Municipalities, and not the provincial government, are responsible for building houses in the Western Cape, says Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.

“They (municipalities) are the implementing agents. We (the department) provide the funds and monitor projects,” Madikizela said.

He was responding after the provincial Treasury revealed in a budget committee meeting that by December, only 2 515 of the planned 4 691 houses had been delivered for the 2012/13 financial year, which ends on March 31. Madikizela admitted that municipalities would not meet this target by the end of the month.

“For the past two years we haven’t met our targets, but this is mainly a result of the huge basic infrastructure backlog,” he said. “The municipalities submit their plans to the department and that is what we base our numbers on. Houses can only be built where there is basic infrastructure.”

For the new financial year, starting next month, the department is expected to fund municipalities to build 12 102 houses. But Madikizela said he would not be “chasing numbers”.

“I would rather under-deliver than build where there is no infrastructure. Chasing these numbers will also result in shoddy workmanship. Then we’ll have to spend even more on repair work when those houses start falling apart,” he said.

Madikizela said it would take at least 30 years to “work through” the Western Cape’s housing backlog.

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