Western Cape Townships MEC Tertuis Simmers.
- The Western Cape Government has spent more than 215 million rand on the security of key housing projects.
- Human Settlements and Infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers said the money could provide more than 1,061 homes.
- Simmers added that the problem of people erecting shacks illegally has been prevalent for several years in the province.
The Western Cape Government has spent more than 215 million rand to protect key housing projects in the province.
Human Settlements and Infrastructure MEC Tertuis Simmers said the money could easily be used to build 1,061 homes for people on the waiting list.
Simmers made the revelation in response to a question posed by DA MPL and chairperson of the standing committee on human settlements in the provincial legislature, Matlodi Maseka, who wanted to know if the department had developed a strategy to combat organized land grabbing and illegal shack construction. .
He said the department was currently formulating several strategies to deal with land invasions with a range of roles including the Department of Local Government, the Local Government Association of SA and the police.
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Simmers added that there is a process in place to develop an integrated strategy to combat this “province-wide scourge.”
“Given the clear criminal element of these intrusions, some decisions will not be publicly announced as this could undermine the credibility of our interventions.”
According to him, while they were still formulating the strategy, their hands were tied.
“That is why we have spent more than 215 million rand on security in key projects. Shocking, right?
“While this is noble and necessary, it also came at a high price as we had to cut our already tight shipping budget to keep our sites safe. This is money that could have been put to better use and could have easily provided more than 1,061 housing opportunities.”
On the question of illegal shacks, Simmers said the problem has been prevalent for several years.
“We see a clear correlation with the emergence of the construction mafia, land grabbing and invasions,” he added.
Maseka said it was unfortunate that the provincial government had to spend millions on land occupation.
“These funds could be used to build even more housing alternatives and ensure the dignity of the vulnerable population. While measures to prevent land grabbing are critical, it comes at a high price and puts the provincial government’s already tight budget at risk,” she added. .