Media: 80 Percent of RDP houses occupied illegally

While RDP house allocations have been the source of protest, such as here in Mandela Park in September last year, investigations find that up to 80 percent of them are not occupied by the rightful owners. Photo: Siyabonga Kalipa/WCN

While RDP house allocations have been the source of protest, such as here in Mandela Park in September last year, investigations find that up to 80 percent of them are not occupied by the rightful owners. Photo: Siyabonga Kalipa/WCN

Source: West Cape News

Preliminary results of an investigation into the tenancy of RDP houses in Philippi’s Samora Machel suburb, which started a week ago, has found that only about 20 percent of those occupying RDP houses are the rightful beneficiaries.

About half of the over 4000 RDP houses built in the area have been surveyed so far, said Samora Machel ward councillor Monwabisi Mbaliswano on Tuesday.

Mbaliswano said 20 community members supported by the provincial Human Settlement Department, were going door-to-door and requesting the property title deeds.

The Samora Machel investigation, and a parallel investigation in Khayelitsha’s Mandela Park, was launched by the department three weeks ago after Development Forum executive committee members noted that many people who had been allocated RDP houses sold them before the national Human Settlement Department’s moratorium on the sale of state-subsidised houses by beneficiaries had lapsed.

Mbaliswano said according to preliminary results of the investigation in Samora Machel, residents who received RDP houses sometimes sold them due to poor building standards or to raise money for things such as burying relatives or relocating back to the Eastern Cape.

“We have found out that some of the beneficiaries had sold their houses and are now living in informal settlements and have re-registered in the housing department database,” he said.

Mbaliswano said most of the people who had bought RDP houses had no title deeds to prove it was their house, and only had affidavits from the police.

Zalisile Mbali, spokesperson for Human Settlement MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, confirmed the investigations into RDP house tenancy were ongoing.

“Most of the people who were allocated houses seem to be going back to living in shacks while some are reported to be living in the Eastern Cape,” said Mbali.

However, he said he could not yet say what would happen to people who were illegally occupying RDP houses.

But Mbali dismissed Mbaliswano’s figure of 80 percent illegal tenancy, saying: “We don’t know where the figures come from because the survey is not yet done. We will table the results once they are ready”.

The investigations are expected to be completed in three weeks time. – Sandiso Phaliso, West Cape News

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