Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape premier candidate Nqaba Bhanga recently led a series of housing inspections around the Buffalo City Metropolitan (BCM) area.
“The DA will never condone illegal behaviour, but we can understand that these residents are frustrated and that they feel cheated”
He was joined by DA Team One SA spokesperson for basic services Makashule Gana, DA Team One SA campaign spokesperson Solly Malatsi, EC premier campaign spokesperson for basic services Kevin Mileham and EC premier campaign spokesperson Mlindi Nhanha.
The first area that was inspected was a housing project in Vergenoeg (ward 10) where RDP houses were being illegally occupied. According to Bhanga, the occupants believed that the houses were allocated to the wrong people.
“Some [of the occupants] have been waiting for almost two decades for their houses, even after following all the correct procedures and being added to the beneficiary list,” he said.
The illegal occupation has brought the project to a standstill. As a result, services remain undelivered and many houses still lack basic features such as ceilings.
“The DA will never condone illegal behaviour, but we can understand that these residents are frustrated and that they feel cheated,” said Bhanga.
The next stop on the inspection was a temporary housing site in the Fynbos area. The site consists of a number of temporary housing structures erected by the municipality which were originally meant to be inhabited for no more than six months. However, the current residents have been living there for a number of years and have to rely on communal sanitation facilities.
Bhanga said the DA had initiated a forensic audit of the municipality’s housing beneficiary list.
“We believe the housing list is being manipulated – and that people are purposefully being removed and their names replaced with those of people from outside the area,” he said.
BCM had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to print.